Matt Brundage

Archive for the 'happenings' category

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Tanya Alexa Brundage

Tanya Alexa Brundage I am in love.

Tanya greeted the world on March 5, 2013 at 8:17pm. She clocked in at 9 pounds, 11.3 ounces (or 0.004403 metric tons!) and a length of 20.5 inches.

Tanya comes home with us on Friday to begin her life as a full-time baby.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Big-ass salad

The salad, in all its glory. This evening, I took Leo Babauta’s advice and made myself a big-ass salad. I used the biggest serving bowl that Annie could find. You can’t really get the scale from the photos, but the pile of vegetables is about the size of a regulation-size basketball. It was a manly pile of salad and took me close to half an hour of non-stop eating to polish this thing off.

Ingredients

Red-leaf lettuce, spinach, kale, Chinese broccoli, raw mushrooms, mushrooms An alternate view of the salad. marinated in red wine vinegar and minced garlic, a carrot, an orange bell pepper, a roma tomato, a handful of cherry tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes marinated in olive oil and Italian spices, non-marinated sun-dried tomatoes, green olive tapenade, pistachio nutmeats, shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and toasted corn kernels. Tomato juice to wash it down.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

The Grand Canyon and Sedona

Annie sitting pretty Eariler this month, Annie, two of her three sisters, and I went out to Arizona for a week.

I have to admit: I was a bad tourist. I did virtually no preparation before the trip — I didn’t even look at a map of the general area, the hotel, amenities, et cetera. I couldn’t have even given you a ballpark estimate of how far away we would be staying from the canyon rim. I hadn’t planned a thing. Perhaps my inactivity was due to my general feeling of apathy toward the whole trip. Until we touched down in Flagstaff, I approached the trip as just another situation to slog through — just something that I had to do. Naturally, my expectations weren’t very high. Even Annie admitted that she didn’t expect us to fill up the whole week with touring and exploring.

How wrong we were. Our six-day stay turned out to be the perfect amount of time. Every day was eventful and we remained active. So active, in fact, that we were usually sound asleep by 9 or 10pm. And we’d wake up before the alarm — usually around 6am. Ideal. Arizona was good for our circadian rhythms.

Matt looking out Arriving in Flagstaff on the first day, I made a spur-of-the-moment good decision — one that I was frequently grateful of as the week progressed. I was torn between hiring a taxi or renting a car. In another “bad tourist” move, I had failed to reserve a rental car ahead of time. I simply walked up to the counter at the airport and asked what types of cars they had. I probably paid a premium for this, but as I found out later, it was worth it. I drove that Chevrolet Malibu (The car you can’t ignore) everywhere; we even took a day trip to Sedona. I must tell you, every mile of that trip was scenic. (It would have been ideal to have some John Denver or Glen Campbell CDs with me, but I digress…) The car came in handy at the Grand Canyon as well, as our hotel was a good five or more miles from the canyon rim. Yeah, not renting a car would have been a serious mistake.

Hiking was very gratifying and enjoyable, even with the prospect that, in the event of a false step, I could be instantly impaled, maimed, or suffer blunt force trauma. I spent a good ten hours (spread out over two days) hiking the winding trails down into the canyon. Obviously, the views were beautiful and serene, but it was also unexpectedly quiet. The silence enveloped me. It was akin to being underwater — the sheer vastness and stillness of it all almost seemed to press in on me. It was very surreal – especially when the only sound I’d hear would be the wings of a huge raven, hovering and soaring overhead; or the occasional whisper of wind funneling itself up the canyon walls; or the clip-clomp of a line of pack mules, laboring their way down the trail.

Photos from the trip

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Mid-month roundup

…This is how I know that I’m a bad blogger: Last week, Annie, her two eldest sisters, and I spent a week out west, conquering the Grand Canyon, Sedona, and the open road, yet I have no blog post to show for it! During our stay, we averaged about 100 photos per day. An unwieldy photo gallery is forthcoming, I promise. And, perhaps, some quality commentary.

…Warren Buffett has given us the green light to start investing again; I’m hopeful that next week will be another solid rebuilding week for the Dow. I’ve sufficiently rationalized my “losses” thus far; I’m truly no longer affected by them. It’s all play money until you have to use it. As I focus the bulk of my investments in retirement accounts, a decreasing percentage of my portfolio hinges on the day-to-day rise and fall of stocks.

…Lately, I’ve been enamored by the work of one J.D. Roth, owner and writer of both Get Rich Slowly and Get Fit Slowly. Every day, I’m in awe at the consistent quality of his work. He’s introduced me to a number of related financial sites. With the wealth of good, free financial information available, it’s a wonder why anyone would choose to hire a financial advisor — unless, of course, one dislikes dealing with his financial situation. As for me, I revel in it. At times, I worry that I worry too much about money. I seriously wouldn’t mind getting randomly audited by the IRS. It would be a pleasant experience for me.

On a related note, sometimes I wish that I had significant consumer debt, only because it would be personally gratifying to pay it off. I’m intrigued by stories of people in debt, and the methods they use to overcome their debt and their bad habits. It would be an incredible feeling of accomplishment to eliminate, say, massive credit card debt. The source of your problems is literally subtracted out of existence.

…I was recently bestowed with a couple of quality “seasoned” laptops that my company had long since abandoned: a four-year-old IBM ThinkPad and a slightly older Dell Inspiron 8100. Both are steps up from my current notebook, a Windows 2000-era Dell that makes a grating grinding sound whenever it’s turned on. Oh, and the touchpad frustratingly registers false clicks at random.

…Some of my coworkers and I have just moved into a swing space, as our office area is being renovated. The problem is that it’s four floors below street level, in a secluded, bomb-proof room with no air flow — conditioned or otherwise. I keep telling myself that at least I’m not working in a uranium mine in Novosibirsk, Russia. I’m entertaining the idea of not shaving or otherwise grooming myself for the duration of our stay in the dungeon, as a quiet protest.

…I’m off to the Maryland Renaissance Festival later today, so I suppose that I will take in a couple of turkey legs and a significant amount of jerky. (Annie cannot resist the jerky vendor.) It will be good to be a part of such a large gathering of geeks. No swords allowed. :-(

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Munch Dallas Brundage

Annie writes about Munch:

Munch, July 2008 Meet the youngest member of our family, Munch Dallas Brundage. We adopted Munch, formerly known as Dallas, from a family in Taneytown, MD last Friday. Munch is a playful nine-week-old Holland lop. He looks nearly identical to Sniff, but is currently a third of his size.

They both live rent-free in the storage room adjacent to the kitchen :-) Their spaces are divided by a wire barrier and they both have free run of the kitchen. They can see and sniff each other but do not have full contact unless they are being supervised in the living room/dining room.

On Munch’s first day home, the two weren’t formally introduced until after nine hours of curiously sniffing each other through the wire barrier. Most of the time, Sniff ignores Munch unless Munch tries to snuggle his belly. Sniff — not having had any contact with other bunnies (except for wild bunnies from afar) and is normally afraid of things such as falling leaves — probably gets scared and attacks. Although Munch is only a third of his size, he doesn’t always let Sniffie win. He’s a little fireball! Munch takes every opportunity to snuggle up to Sniffie, however, with the same results.

The only time that they don’t fight is when Sniff snuggles up to my feet for a petting. Munch follows suit and snuggles up next to him to get a simultaneous petting. I turn their noses toward each other and continue petting them. This always goes well and is a good sign.

Most of the time, Munch — being true to his name — munches away on various veggies and goodies. He has an extremely healthy appetite for such a little guy. He’s very curious, playful, and friendly. He’s also a “lap lop.” Even Matt, who could never once hold Sniffie is his lap, manages to snuggle with Munch. This one is definitely Daddy’s little boy.

-Annie Brundage

FYI, Munch is named in honor of the rabbit belonging to Firefox evangelist Asa Dotzler.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Emiko and Garin

Miko and Garin A week ago, Annie and I took a trip down to Miami, and from there, the Bahamas, to witness the wedding of our friends Emiko and Garin. Despite the bountiful food 24/7 on the cruise ship to Nassau, Annie and I both managed to lose weight — it must have been the numerous walks from our hotel in Miami Beach to South Beach. We’d walk for hours at a time, but we didn’t mind it because of the scenery. Many thanks to Miko and Garin for being the perfect couple and for giving us an excuse to travel the world. Many years of health and happiness to you both.

View photos from the wedding and of our separate trip to Miami after the cruise.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Guitar and thump duet

Matt playing the guitar with Sniff While I was singing and playing the guitar for Annie, Sniff hid under the bed and kept thumping his hind legs. We sounded like a badly rehearsed duet between a guitar and a bass drum. After a while, either my playing had improved or Sniff’s curiosity got the better of him as he came out from under the bed and began to inspect the cause of the ruckus. Pictured: Sniff helps me tune the “G” string, as I was presumably a bit flat.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Sniff Bun-Bun Brundage

Annie recently took the time to write a short report on our new arrival, Sniff:

Meet the newest addition to our home, Sniff Bun-Bun Brundage!

Sniff Bun-Bun Brundage After looking for a rabbit for about a month we stumbled upon Bun-Bun. He’s a playful Holland Lop bunny that we adopted from a nice family on Sunday.

His former owners had to find a new home for him because one of the family members is allergic to him. In addition to giving us their beloved bunny, they also gave us a nice cage, food, chew toys, litter, and a leash and harness. They also drove down to meet us halfway! We are lucky to have found them and Bun-Bun. A BIG and special thank you!

When we got him inside the house, we didn’t try to pet him or fuss with him. We gave him time to adjust. We put the cage in the living room so he wouldn’t be lonely. When it seemed like he had adjusted to his new environment, we opened the cage door and stepped back. We were both lying on the ground waiting for the bunny to come out. It took him about 20 minutes before he came out for the first time and then hopped right back in. A little while later he came out again and started looking around. Once he was more comfortable he started sniffing us and everything in the room. Matt named him Sniff Bun-Bun Brundage.

The first day he was here he was afraid to go into the kitchen and foyer because the ceramic tile and hardwood were too slippery for him. The first time he tried it, he slipped and it must have scared him half to death because he ran out of there as fast as he could. He’d follow us around the house but won’t follow us into the kitchen or the foyer. It has been three days and now he’s more comfortable in the kitchen. As for the foyer, he had learned to jump from the carpet in the living room to the rug in front of the door but he won’t go further.

Sniff Bun-Bun Brundage It wasn’t long before he started running around the living room and dining room. He would dash from one end of the room to the other. Sometimes he’ll do a little happy-go-lucky twisted jump. It’s a lot of fun to watch. Then he would run over to a wall or a piece of furniture, do a little side flip and lay down next to it heaving with contentment. His other favorite spot is by the vent with the cool air blowing out on him.

We let him out a couple times a day so he gets lots of play time. He has also been upstairs. He won’t go up and down the stairs by himself though. He runs around in the hallway and goes to the bathroom to pee in his litter box. He’s not allowed in the office because there are too many wires. We don’t let him out of our sight if there are wires around but we haven’t seen him even try to chew on any wires yet. We put a harness and leash on him and we took him outside for a walk. He was really cautious at first but once he got used to it — oh boy! We thought we were taking the bunny for a walk but instead HE took us for a run.

He likes to jump on top of us if we’re lying down. He also likes to jump through our arms and legs. Maybe he thinks he’s in the circus. He also likes to run in circles around us. He loves attention and loves to be petted. He would flop down when we pet him. He was a little uncomfortable about being held at first but now he just flops down for a good rubbing. He doesn’t stay long though. About ten minutes at most then he would run off and hop around again.

Sniff Bun-Bun Brundage He’s good about using the litter box for pooping and peeing. He hadn’t peed anywhere else yet and we’re hoping he won’t start. He had pooped on the carpet but not the same way he poops in his litter box. It’s usually just one dropping or scattered out in a line or circle. He would run around us and before we know it, a circle of scattered poop is surrounding us. We were a little confused at first since he was so good about using his litter box. In a book that we borrowed from the library and from online sources, it says that he’s just marking his territory. The poop is very small and dry and can be picked off the carpet without leaving any stain or odor.

We went to the vet today and he was well behaved. The veterinarian said that Sniff is healthy and confirmed that he’s a boy. She doesn’t recommend neutering him unless he gets very aggressive, which may have to be soon. He’s getting a little frisky.

That’s all for now from Sniff world! More to come later.

–Annie Brundage

More pictures of Sniff

Sunday, 12 August 2007

The MoCo Agricultural Fair

a pig in its sty Annie and I braved the afternoon heat and took in the sights of the The Montgomery County Agricultural Fair. While I went more for the pigs, Annie was there for the rabbits. Lucky for you, you’ll see photos of both.