So, we’ve seen a few movies since we’ve been back, we check the netflix us comparison so we have more options wth the new vpn. I thought you’d like to hear about them!
[Gigantic: A Tale of Two Johns](http://www.giganticfilm.com/): It is a docu/movie about that fabulous band [They Might Be Giants](http://www.tmbg.com). Through the film you are walked down the same road that John and John took…from performing in small clubs in New York’s East Villiage to signing with a ‘big’ agency to filming music videos. We found it to be very entertaining. I suppose you’d have to like TMBG to begin with to really get into it, though.
[Italian for Beginners](http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00006ADFP/102-4822033-1478514?v=glance&n=130&v=glance) : a flick recommended by my coworker, Jane. She thought I’d enjoy it and she didn’t disappoint. An extreemly low budget (looking) film, “Italian for Beginners” was a delight to watch. It told the stories of 6 or 7 Danes and eventually wove those stories into one: they all take a beginners Italian class. It is sad and sweet and funny…and in Danish. Love those subtitles! It was a fun, quirky movie.
[Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Ware-Rabbit](http://www.wandg.com/): our afternoon outing today. Knowing that we loved the original W and G series we were looking forward to seeing this full length movie. It was a ton of fun. Lots of puns and jokes and a surprise vocal apperance of one of my favorite actors, [Ralph Finnes](http://imdb.com/name/nm0000146/?fr=c2l0ZT1kZnx0dD0xfGZiPXV8cG49MHxrdz0xfHE9cmFscGggZmlubmVzfGZ0PTF8bXg9MjB8bG09NTAwfGNvPTF8aHRtbD0xfG5tPTE_;fc=1;ft=21;fm=1). We loved it, and so did all the kids at the 12pm matinee showing we were at 🙂
That’s all for now. We’re waiting on [Bride and Prejudice](http://imdb.com/title/tt0361411/?fr=c2l0ZT1kZnx0dD0xfGZiPXV8cG49MHxrdz0xfHE9YnJpZGUgYW5kIFByZWp1ZGljZXxmdD0xfG14PTIwfGxtPTUwMHxjbz0xfGh0bWw9MXxubT0x;fc=3;ft=17;fm=1) to come via Netflix. We’ve seen it already, but are looking forward to singing “No life….without Wife” again!
ps. It’s Snowing like crazy! We’ve got at least an inch out there. Never fear, Peter is taking [pictures](http://prwdot.org/gallery2/v/events/2005/first_snow_2005/) 🙂
Today, Becky and I celebrate three years of marriage!
ggg|rt2005_day5/P1050377|At The Arch|ggg
Last night while we were watching [Gilmore Girls](http://thewb.warnerbros.com/web/show.jsp?id=GG), Becky said that I was like [Luke](http://thewb.warnerbros.com/web/show_bio.jsp?id=GG-H-SPatterson), only with shorter hair. If I had to pick a character on that show to be compared to, it would definitely be Luke, because he’s pretty darn cool. So thanks for the compliment, and thanks for three wonderful years. 🙂
P.S. I would also like to wish a happy anniversary to [Marc](http://acesoneights.blogspot.com/) and Vanessa, whose wedding was the day before ours, and an apparently not-so-happy anniversary to [Nick and Jessica](http://www.mtv.com/onair/newlyweds/nick_and_jessica/), whose wedding was on the same day as ours.
We’re back in Beverly after a long, tiring, but fun road trip. We would like to thank Kevin, Susie, Mom, Dad, Kirsten, Mark, and Melanie for being wonderful hosts and hostesses, and the Ramada Limited of Collinsville, IL for being so inexpensive.
All photos from the trip are now [online](http://prwdot.org/gallery2/v/travels/2005/road_trip_2005/). Enjoy!
fff|ggg|rt2005_day7/P1050663|Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier|ggg|fff
Today in Chicago we visited the [Field Museum](http://www.fieldmuseum.org/), one of the world’s premiere Natural History museums. The museum boasts the largest T-Rex skeleton, as well as some excellent exhibits and artifacts from the Pacific region. My personal favorite was the exhibit on Tibet. We also had an unplanned surprise at museum admission. Many museums have reciprocal agreements where they will offer free admission to employees of other museums. At the last second, Becky thought to request reciprocal admission. So she whipped out her [Historic New England](http://www.historicnewengland.org/) staff card, and she got us in for free! The admission we got would normally have cost $14 per person! Not a bad deal at all…
We also visited [Navy Pier](http://www.navypier.com/), an entertainment complex that juts out into Lake Michigan. It’s sort of like [Pier 39](http://www.pier39.com/) in San Francisco, and a little bit like [Faneuil Hall Marketplace](http://www.faneuilhallmarketplace.com/) in Boston. Shops, restaurants, games, rides, entertainment, etc. We rode on the giant Ferris Wheel, walked around the Crystal Garden, watched a few kids’ entertainment shows, and sat outside on the waterfront to enjoy the nice sunny day.
We wrapped up our day by visiting some television and movie filming locations. UIC Medical Center, where “er”‘s exterior shots come from, and the Randolph/Wabash El stop, where scenes from “While You Were Sleeping” were filmed. “It’s an express?”
Check out our [photos from the day](http://gallery.prwdot.org/rt2005_day7). Tomorrow we’re driving back to Ohio, and Sunday we’re driving back to Massachusetts. And right now, I’m headed to bed. Phew!
p.s. If you’re on Eastern Daylight Time, remember to subtract one hour to get the actual time that I wrote this post (and other posts since Tuesday evening).
fff|ggg|rt2005_day6/P1050550|Sears Tower from Millenium Park|ggg|fff
We spent today in the city of Chicago doing touristy stuff. Melanie drove us to Midway Airport, where we took the Orange Line in to the city. We took an Art Deco architecture walking tour, run by the [Chicago Architecture Foundation](http://www.architecture.org/). There are some really amazing Art Deco buildings in Chicago, and our docent gave a great tour of the outsides and insides of buildings around the downtown area. After the tour, we had lunch at [Giordano’s](http://www.giordanos.com/) – traditional stuffed pizza pies. Very tasty. For you Vineyard folks, they’re not related to [that Giordano’s](http://www.giosmv.com/). After lunch we walked around [Millenium Park](http://www.millenniumpark.org/), an incredible combination of landscape design and modern architecture. From there, we walked quite a few blocks to visit the [Sears Tower Skydeck](http://www.the-skydeck.com/homeDefault.htm). I’d been up to the top many years ago, but it was impressive once again to look out from the tallest building in the United States, and one of the three tallest buildings in the world. After the Sears Tower, we made a quick trip to Michigan Avenue to visit some stores. Namely, the [American Girl Place](http://www.americangirlplace.com/agp_chi_splash.php), a must-see for any fan of the American Girl series, and the [Apple Store at North Michigan Avenue](http://www.apple.com/retail/northmichiganavenue/), a must-see for any fan of Apple computers. Finally, we visited the original [Marshall Field’s](http://www.fields.com/common/state_street.jsp) at State Street, the flagship store, and just one of the many sad casualties of the Federated-May Company department store merger.
For photos of our long but very fun day, head over to the (http://gallery.prwdot.org/rt2005_day6).
We’re settling down for the night at Melanie’s apartment in the southern ‘burbs of [Chicago](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago), after driving up Interstate 55 from Saint Louis. I’ve uploaded our photos from today’s Saint Louis sightseeing, which included the Gateway Arch and the Old Courthouse, both part of the [Jefferson National Expansion Memorial](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_National_Expansion_Memorial), the [International Bowling Museum](http://www.bowlingmuseum.com/), and the [Cahokia Mounds](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cahokia).
Thursday and Friday we will be spending with Melanie doing some sightseeing in Chicago. For now, you can check out photos from [today](http://gallery.prwdot.org/rt2005_day5?page=1), or look at the photos for the [trip so far](http://gallery.prwdot.org/road_trip_2005).
Becky and I are relaxing in our room at the [Ramada](http://www.ramada.com/) in Collinsville, IL, just outside of Saint Louis, MO. Taking advantage of the free wireless internet access in our room. Tomorrow we’re going to do some sight-seeing in Saint Louis, and then we’re heading up to Chicago. Fun!
I’ve uploaded all of the photos from our trip so far. Check out the [Road Trip 2005](http://gallery.prwdot.org/road_trip_2005) album. No captions yet, but you are welcome to create your own captions by way of leaving comments on individual photos if you happen to know the subject of the photo (or even if you don’t…).
All is well here in Mount Vernon, OH. We have been enjoying the past few days, spending time with Mom, Dad, Kirsten and Mark. Our trip was very smooth, and we actually made the drive from Charlton, MA to Mount Vernon, OH in just 12 hours. Saturday night, we had a birthday party for me and Dad. On Sunday, we visited Mark and Kirsten’s [church](http://www.firstalliancemansfield.org/), at which Mark is the Youth Pastor. Today, Becky and I visited the [Airstream](http://www.airstream.com/) headquarters in Jackson Center, OH, and took their factory tour. Very cool. Tonight we had dinner with the fam and then made some “music videos”. If you’re *really* lucky, we might put those online. All in all, it has been great to be back in Mount Vernon, and to get re-acquainted with the town I grew up in.
On Tuesday, Becky and I are leaving for a quick trip to Saint Louis, and on Wednesday we’ll be headed up to Chicago for a few days. We’ll be back in Mount Vernon Saturday evening, and early Sunday morning we’ll be headed back up to Beverly.
We might upload some photos while in Saint Louis, if the hotel has a decent internet connection. It’s still dialup here at home, so uploading would take far too long. Otherwise, we’ll definitely have all of the photos online at some point during the week after we get back to Beverly.
Friday night, Becky and I are heading off on another whirlwind adventure! This time, we’re taking a road trip, the general route of which you can see below:
We’re stopping briefly in Charlton, MA on Friday to stay with Kevin and Susie, who are conveniently located near the Mass Pike. Saturday morning we will drive straight through to Mount Vernon, OH to spend a few days visiting with my parents, sister, and brother-in-law. From there we’ll be driving to [Saint Louis](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Louis%2C_Missouri) to see the [Jefferson National Expansion Memorial](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_National_Expansion_Memorial) (i.e., the Arch and its environs), and then we’ll be driving up to [Chicago](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago) to spend a few days visiting Melanie and taking in the sights of the Windy City. Finally, we’ll be jumping back to Mount Vernon, and then back home to Beverly on Sunday, October 23. Phew!
It will be a long and tiring trip, but we’ll be spending it in the best of company. And that’s really what makes any endeavor worthwhile.
Thanks to some birthday gift fundage from my parents (*Thanks Mom and Dad!*), I’ve been able to purchase a few useful gadgets for hooking up our iPod in various locations.
The first one is a device manufactured by [USA Spec](http://www.usaspec.com/), and sold at retailers such as [Circuit City](http://www.circuitcity.com/). The [DF-TOY](http://www.usaspec.com/aux2.htm) hooks up to the CD Changer input on our new Corolla’s factory stereo, and provides two sets of RCA auxiliary inputs. This allows us to output sound directly from the iPod into the car stereo, without the need for a radio transmitter (which provides mediocre quality at best) or a cassette adapter (which wouldn’t work in our car, since it doesn’t have a cassette deck).
Installation was a lot easier than I expected:
1. Remove the bezel from around the stereo. This is easily done by working a flathead screwdriver around the edges and popping it out.
2. Remove the four phillips screws holding the stereo in.
3. Plug in the adapter to the cd changer port.
4. Run the cable out from the back of the stereo, down to the opening just above the gas pedal.
5. Connect the cable to the input box.
6. Connect RCA cables from the device of your choice.
Voila! I have crystal clear sound, and I also have an extra set of RCA inputs should I ever want to have TWO auxiliary devices hooked up. Yikes! The only thing I ought to do is find a nice place to mount the input box, and clean up the cables. Right now it’s all sitting on the floor behind the gas pedal. I’ll take and post some photos if I have a chance.
The other gadget that I bought was an [Apple iPod Dock](http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore?productLearnMore=M9868G/A). The iPod model I bought did not come with a dock, and I’ve gotten by just fine with the basic FireWire cable for a while. But at the Apple Store they had a bunch of “refreshed” docks on sale for 50% off the regular price, so I grabbed one of those, and it’s working great. Now our iPod has a nice little home to live in when it’s on the desk.
Here’s some [photos](http://gallery.prwdot.org/ipod_hookups) of the Dock and the aux input connectors.