Saturday, December 20, 2014

Bocci Italian Trattoria and Pizzeria

Sarah had described this restaurant as serving comfort Italian food, so today was a perfect day to check it out.  A group of us tried a few different pasta dishes, some appetizers, and one salad.

Sarah's description pretty much nails it.  Bocci won't change your life, and it won't introduce you to anything new, but it will make you happy you ate there on a cold night.

The garlic knots were dripping in butter and very tasty; really, with that much butter and garlic, how could they not be?  The bruschetta was a bit moist and tart for my taste but okay.  The side portion of Gouda macaroni and cheese was wonderful, a smoky treat.  The Caesar salad was a chopped, weak example of its type, nothing worth ordering again. 

My penne alla vodka, to which I added all three optional proteins (chicken, sausage, and shrimp), was delicious.  I'd order it again--except next time, I'll share it.

As Sarah also warned, the pasta portions at Bocci are enormous.  I ate maybe 20% of my pasta.  It could easily have fed three hungry people, or two who were starving.

If you're in the mood for comfort Italian food, definitely check out Bocci--and share the pasta entrees.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Computing, talking dogs, and charitable donations

Yup, it's time for another episode of Now with PT.  I'm always proud of PT's commitment to helping local charities, and who doesn't like a talking dog?


Thursday, December 18, 2014

I have a cold

It's the first I've had in some years, and I am not enjoying it.  Rivers of snot are flowing out of my head, a problem that makes work and concentration difficult.  My brain feels like it's running at a quarter normal speed, the snot somehow interfering with my thought processes.  I can force myself to full speed through intense focus and the application of a large amount of Coke Zero, but having to do that sucks.

I recognize that as problems go, this is a mild one, but I would still prefer not to have it.

I did not order this cold.  I do not want it.  Whoever gave it to me, please take it back. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

This year's Christmas tree, naked and dressed

As long-time readers know, we have a tradition of getting trees that are on the large side and then covering them with lots of lights and ornaments.  This year, we once again followed that tradition.

We bought the tree this past Sunday.  Even with its branches still riding high, it was a lovely sight in our house.

Earlier tonight, we had our annual tree-trimming gathering, at which each year we eat and adorn the tree.  Both Sarah and Scott were able to attend, which made the evening a great treat. 

The result is, if I may say so myself, striking. 

We own so many ornaments that we aren't even close to having hung them all. 

To give you a sense of scale, I asked Scott, who's around 5'10" or 5'11" tall, to stand beside the tree. 

Yup, it's a big tree, and now it's a properly dressed one.

I do love Christmas time. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Too late for Thanksgiving, but always worth watching

My friend and colleague, Sean, reminded me today of this bit from an old TV show, WKRP In Cinncinnati.  Ignore the laugh track and just enjoy the lines.

"As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."

Oh, yeah.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Happy snaps from the land of neon

I quite shortchanged you in my recent Las Vegas trip posts, so I thought I'd make a few amends by sharing some of the photos I took while there.

I'd mentioned that our room--the party room, as we came to call it--had a window into the shower from which you could watch from the comfort of your bed as someone cleaned off.  Here's that very shower, with Lisa graciously posing inside for us. 

Click an image to see a larger version.

Sadly, only Kyle and I were sharing the party room, so this window went to waste.  (Note the blinds at the top of the shower windows; they definitely worked.)

As for the foot fetish photos over our beds, all I can say is, rock on, Cosmopolitan room designers!

The wallpaper of our bathroom was another treat, with its patterns composed of oddly jointed and strangely shaped women.

No real woman looks like those, but, hey, this is Vegas.

Is Kyle (with his back to the camera) entering a strange tunnel of Vegas love?

Nope.  He's going into the big Christmas exhibition at the Bellagio.  Need proof?  Check out this Christmas tree.

Christmas naturally makes one think of giving gifts, so if you're looking for a little special bedroom something for the person of your choice, perhaps this bit of metal lingerie might be just the ticket.

You better really want it, though, because just the chain bits will set you back $3,190 (before tax). 


While heading back from Caesar's Palace, we were treated to something you rarely see in Las Vegas:  a sky full of rain. 

The clouds were lovely, and the air smelled deeply of fresh rain.  Wonderful. 

Back at the Cosmopolitan, a dispute over the hotel room bill led me to set my army of attack stone dogs on Kyle. 

Don't worry:  we worked it out, and I called off the dogs. 

To finish off our Friday brunch at Bouchon, we opted for the bouchons, which came with an amazing pistachio ice cream.

Each little bouchon is a tasty few bites of chocolate goodness. 

Friday night, we enjoyed the finale of The Ultimate Fighter from about 25 feet from the cage.

The show was excellent.

Next year, I hope that we get to go again--and that I don't have to work while there!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Art, money, and people

In a recent article in The Guardian, Amanda Palmer discusses at some length the tricky issues of making money as an artist, why artists must now more than ever try various ways to make money from their art, and the sad fact that some of the artists who have been open online about money are getting beat up for their openness.  I share Palmer's frustration at the behavior of the people giving grief to artists who dare to be open about their finances, and I generally agree with the tone of the article. 

Unfortunately, I don't believe there's anything anyone can do to stop people from behaving badly about money. 

In my experience, the moment someone talks about how much they make, other people in the discussion can't stop themselves from reacting.  Is that all?  They pay you so much money for that?  Regardless of whether they think the amount is too high or too low, most people can't have calm conversations about money.  People also often seem to feel they could manage someone else's finances better than that person can.  I just don't see any way around it.

So, though I believe it's a great thing for artists to discuss openly and honestly the various ways they're trying to make a living, I think they will have to brace themselves for the inevitable grief they will later take.  That fact saddens me, but I believe it is a fact.


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