• The World According to Clarke


    I blame Facebook...

    Wow, it's been a while. I discovered Facebook through my 20-year high school reunion, and that has pretty much put an end to my blogging here. If you're not a Facebook member, I highly recommend signing up. It has millions of way to waste your time. :)


    That's Amore!

    I love our neighborhood. We have great neighbors all around us, lots of nice parks and things to do, and my commute to work is nice. My one complaint since we've lived here, however, has been the scarcity of decent pizza. The only franchise pizza I'm a fan of is Donato's, and there isn't one of those nearby. There's a pretty good mom-and-pop shop called Big Dogs across town, but it's 15 minutes away and they don't deliver. So when I saw the 'coming soon' sign for a new pizza place called 'Ciao Bella' a couple of weeks ago, I was cautiously optimistic.

    Well, we tried it for the first time tonight and it exceeded my expectations! I got a sausage/onion/mushroom pizza which was excellent. The sauce was yummy--a little sweet but not too much, and the crust was just right--slightly thick but a little bit crunchy. The kids had calzones, and Maria enthusiastically declared it the 'best ever'. Chris thought it compared favorably with LaRosas and Big Dogs. Ben was not as happy because he doesn't like tomato sauce, and the calzone had it inside instead of separately for dipping like most places--so we'll have to order more carefully next time. Best of all, they deliver!

    I spoke to the owner about cutting a deal for delivery down to the swim club, and he sounded very interested. My new goal is to make sure this pizza place does well--it needs to stick around. If you're ever in the West Chester/Sharonville area, give Ciao Bella a try!

    The work crew...

    The one positive from our recent storm--we've got enough firewood to last us for a few years! Several of us in the neighborhood went in together to rent a log splitter, and with some serious help from the kids we got it all split and stacked. Time for a nap!


    My 15 seconds of fame...

    A big storm blew through our neighborhood this afternoon, damaging several large trees in our yard as well as others throughout the street. We were at The Beach waterpark at the time, and came home to find a Channel 12 news truck in our neighborhood doing a story on the storm damage. When talking to the reporter, I mentioned that our tax incentive check came in the mail yesterday and that I'd be spending it on a tree guy. He asked me to say it again on camera, but when the lights came on I choked and they only used a brief snippet of me for the story. And boy was I looking good with my uncombed pool hair after a day of sweating in the sun! Ugh!

    We love our wooded yard and it's sad to see so many big trees down, but everyone is unhurt so I can't complain too much!

    Thursday, June 26, 2008

    No fishing...

    Since our cat passed away a couple of years ago, we have been a petless household (which is just fine with Annette and I). The kids have been working us for quite a while to get something--dog, cat, turtle, fish, anything. Chris even wrote a persuasive essay on why he should have a pet for a school project.

    We finally broke down and got Chris an aquarium for his birthday. It is all set up and looks good. I've never owned one before, so I'll be curious to see how much work needs to be put into keeping it up. There sure were a lot of used ones available on Craigslist, which makes me worry!

    Saturday, June 07, 2008

    Remember me?

    Remember me? I used to blog here. But with sicknesses, job changes, surgeries, scouts, sports, etc. I've been a bit lax in my blogging and website updating in general. I'm going to make an effort to fix that, though. And to start it off, I've added pictures from January through May of 2008 to the website. Enjoy. I'll be back.

    Wednesday, March 26, 2008

    Elder statesman?!?!

    While driving home this even, I heard a news story on the radio about NBA player Chris Webber deciding to retire. The story referred to him as an "elder statesman" of the NBA. Elder statesman?!? He was born 3 years after me! What's with that? I remember when the guy was still in college and called the infamous time out during the championship game. It wasn't THAT long ago...geesh!

    Saturday, March 15, 2008

    Facebook / High school

    This year is the 20th anniversary of my high school graduation, and the group that is putting together the reunion has been using Facebook (a social networking website) to get the information out. Being a bit of a nerd, I've really gotten into using Facebook and am spending way too much time on it. It has been fun catching up with people I haven't spoken to in a long time. One of them recently posted a picture of our entire graduating class. Here it is if you're interested. I'm in the 2nd row from the top in the middle wearing a red shirt with a white collar.

    Back to Facebook, it was also interesting to learn that it was created by a couple of college students who are now worth billions. Nice idea, guys! Here's some details.

    Sunday, March 09, 2008

    Blizzard of 2008

    Finally, a snowstorm that reminded me of the Cleveland days of my youth! It snowed about 8 inches overnight on Friday night, and then about 4 more during the day on Saturday. It was also very windy, so there were some 3 and 4 foot snow drifts in our yard--the kids had a blast! And I was particularly happy when one of our neighbors came by with his snow blower and did our driveway--thank you!

    Wednesday, March 05, 2008

    Going out with a bang (or a zap)

    Today was my last day at the company where I've worked for the past 10 years. I've known for a couple of months that my employment there was coming to an end, and a group of friends has been commiserating during daily afternoon breaks in the snack room. For most of that time, the snack room featured a vending machine that didn't work. Just a week or so ago, the machine was finally replaced with a new, working one--much to our excitement.

    Well, today as I went to purchase my final candy bar (plain M&M's actually), I pressed the appropriate button and was greeted with a large static electricity shock and then the lights on the machine went dark. It no longer dispenses candy.

    To the rest of the break group, I apologize! My electric personality strikes again. I hope it doesn't take them as long to fix it this time!