Monday, August 20, 2012

Things to do, people to see

Shane and Matt2It was a busy weekend for the Nutwood gang!

We started Friday evening with a trip to the Cove, i.e., Coveleski Stadium, home of the South Bend Silverhawks. The Silverhawks are the Class A team for the Diamondbacks, and it’s really a nice little ballpark. Ken had arranged for an outing for his PMI group, and we also got tickets for his Mom and for Shane and Matt. We got some beers and then had our picnic dinner. The game was fun, but since none of us follow them really closely, it’s mostly just an excuse to mess around and have fun and be silly. We’re good at that! Every Friday, they do fireworks, so we ooh-ed and ahh-ed and enjoyed them a lot! (The popped collars were to tease my niece Heather, who has a major problem with popped collars!)

Our friend Andy and his parents were in town this weekend, so we met them for lunch on Saturday. It’s always great to see Andy, it was great to see his Dad again (we had met him once before when they were in town for a game and stayed with us), and it was wonderful to meet his Mom. She is just a lovely lady! It was a beautiful day, so we were able to sit outside and enjoy it. We gabbed about several things, and although I don’t often start talking politics with people whose views I don’t know, I did this time (I know Andy has a liberal bent). I sent him a message later and said I hoped I wasn’t out of line in doing that, and he said it’s always fun to talk about politics and religion! I must not have been too outrageous, because I saw his folks again today (more in a moment), and his Mom said that she’s glad Ken and I are friends with Andy. I don’t think there’s any way to take that in a bad way, do you? They are just super nice people. I look forward to seeing them again one of these days!

Andy & folks
Oh, and Andy had some tickets for us. Super excited! We love going to games, and are forever grateful for Andy’s help in getting tickets.

ND tickets
That afternoon, we just took it easy and enjoyed the gorgeous day. We both sat out on the deck and soaked up some sun, and ended up falling asleep out there!

Sunday was another relaxing day. Ken got a round of golf in, and got the lawn mowed. He revved up the chainsaw and chopped up that small oak tree that fell last week. Dinner was barbecued ribs, corn on the cob, and some cucumbers and onions. All really yummy! Watched a movie. It was a very pleasant weekend, with beautiful weather. The summer seems to be winding down, so that feeling of wanting to enjoy it as much as possible is setting in. The days are still nice, but it’s getting cooler at night. Great for sleeping, but still an indication that fall isn’t too far away. The summer has flown by! ::sigh::

Today Ken went back to work, and I headed over to Notre Dame to hear Andy speak. This was fun for me for a couple of reasons. Although I know where the stadium and pavilion and hockey arena are, as well as the performing arts center--oh, and the library, of course!--I’m not all that familiar with the campus. So I had to go online to find a map so I could locate Fitzpatrick Hall of Engineering. I had no problem, although I did ask a nice gentleman walking by if that building I was heading towards was Fitzpatrick. I was on the right track! Then it was a matter of finding the right classroom, and I had no problem. Jeez, it was such a throwback to my college days...trying to find the building, finding the classroom. For some reason, I was always nervous about that, but I always managed.

His parents were there today, and we sat together. We laughed as the room started filling up. There were the three of us, and the students were mostly clustering to our left. I said, “Three of these things are not like the other...can you guess which ones?” His Mom seemed to get a real kick out of that!

Andy did a great job with his talk. He discussed his project he helped to work on at CERN, which was about measuring and filtering aerosols, and his focus was on particulate matter. This has applications in climate science (what needs to be present so that these aerosols form?) as well as personal monitoring equipment. Andy’s research focused on particles less than 10 nanometers. Much of it was beyond me, but I have enough of a background in Chemistry that I was able to grasp the concepts. Some of his former professors were there, and they were the ones who asked the most questions after the talk. Andy had immediate answers for them, which always indicates to me that the lecturer knows their stuff. I told Ken that he seemed like a natural at the podium, very approachable, engaging, and knowledgeable. Along with his main job, he is going to be an adjunct professor at USC in Nanotechnology, and might be doing a thing here and there with Notre Dame, too. Fantastic job, Andy! Yay!

After parting ways with Andy and his folks and wishing them safe travels, I headed back to my car. I don’t feel guilty about not working out today, because I got a good walk in! It was such a beautiful day, it’s such a gorgeous campus, and I was feeling so good that I must have had a dopey smile on my face. I exchanged grins with a guy on a bike as I tried to get out of his way, smiled and waved ‘thank you’ at someone in a car who let me walk ahead of him, and even exchanged a smile and a nod with a priest that I passed. I walked by the stadium on the way back and got a couple of pictures, including one of the statue of my favorite ND football coach, Lou Holtz. When you’re there for a game, there is just a mass of humanity in front of all the statues, so I was able to get a nice shot without all the humanity!

I really need to check into going to more lectures there, because I enjoyed that thoroughly. We live about ten minutes away from one of the nation’s premier universities, so I should take more advantage of that.

Another early night tonight, because I’m picking Ken’s Mom up tomorrow to take her to her MRI appointment. Happy slumber!


  1. That Andy must be a really smart cat and I bet his old professors got a kick out of his knowledge of the subject... I mean, they had to feel a sense of pride in having a student come back and show how skilled he is with his subject...

    The weekend seems like it was a blast and the photos would seem to confirm that!

  2. Because they're eeeevil!!!

    Glad to hear you had such a good weekend!

  3. It was a great weekend, and this one was good as well.


I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?