July 9th, 2007


happy birthday http://soopageek.livejournal.com !

technically staked my claim to this little corner of LiveJournal over 6 years ago, in February of 2001. For the first two years, I didn't really "get" LiveJournal; I made no effort to make friends and posted sporadically. For all intents and purposes, I count the second week of July in 2003 as the real birthday of my journal. I began friending complete strangers and keeping a regular chronicle of my life. In that time I've made a lot of wonderful friends, reconnected/maintained friendships with distant people, and even met my lovely welfy because of this place.

As a happy birthday commemoration to my journal, and for a walk down memory lane, I thought it might be fun to pick my 5 favorite journal entries ever and post one per day through the business week. Some of you may not have been around when they were originally posted and since they're my favorites, I think these are worthy of being recycled.

This first one is long, and at the time I posted it, I didn't have the ability to post images in-line with my text, so I've decided to re-edit it the way I would have liked to have posted it originally. Unfortunately, I had a really cheap digital camera at the time, so the quality of the photos isn't all that great. It's about my first visit to Niagara Falls, originally posted August 8th, 2003. If you feel this a bit too tl;dr for your attention span, may I at least encourage you to check out the final three paragraphs. It's for those three paragraphs that this is one of my favorite things I've ever posted here.

esterday when I got to Niagara Falls, NY, I found a tour stand off the highway. They let me park there for 8 bucks and called me a cab. My cabbie, J.C., was a middle aged dude who had been driving cabs for over twenty years there in Niagara. He was full of advice on the best things to do, at the most reasonable prices. One interesting tip he gave is, if you're gonna do one of the boat "mist" tours, that rides out into the spray coming off of the falls, do it from the U.S. side, the lines are a lot shorter.

There's a reason for this. Niagara Falls is actually made up of three falls: American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and the Horseshoe Falls. The Horseshoe Falls is the one which is the most famous and largest of the three. Virtually all of the pictures you see of "Niagara Falls" are of this one. It's crescent line, a cool term I learned that means the place where the water crests over the rock. wraps in a horseshoe shape nearly 3,000 feet around. Water spills over this at a rate of 675,000 gallons per second. The main part of the river creates the Horseshoe Falls, and is therefore shared equally by Canada and the U.S. with both countries having parks at either end of the crescent line. The American and Bridal Veil Falls both lie on the U.S. side of the Niagara Gorge, and are created by two islands which lie in the stream of the Niagara River, Luna Island and Goat Island. Bridal Veil Falls is no more than maybe 50 feet wide, while American Falls is rather large, over 1,000 feet along it's crescent line. However, since these both lie on the U.S. side, the best view of these two falls is from the Canadian side. Also, due to the nature of the mist that the Horseshoe Falls create, it's best view is also on the Canadian side.

So naturally this is where most people go to view the falls. This, over the years, has created a rather ironic contrast. On one side of the border sits a country known for its culture of consumerism the world over with a view of restaurants set back behind the trees and a few souveneir shops. Standing on the Canadian side, viewing across the gorge, the only thing you really see on the skyline are the tips of a few hotels above the treeline, the marquee of the Hard Rock Cafe, and a hot air balloon ride that is tethered to the ground which rises and falls occasionally. On the Canadian side of the gorge is a massive skyline filled with a Seattle-esque "space needle", skyscraper hotels by Sheraton and Marriot, and casinos. Also the other Hard Rock cafe is visible, and the gawdy, colorful facade of the MGM building. There's also some sort of skyride which goes up and down on its steel frame with blinking lights and one of those "gravity drop" rides operated by the World Wrestling Federation called "The Pile Driver".

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house hunting

emember that house that welfy and I liked so much? We still like it a lot, but after thinking more and more about it, we realized that there are quite a few things about it that we don't like. We also realized that we are in a really sweet spot; we have a lease agreement that we can leave on 30 day's notice and no property to sell. We figure that it's best to be patient and find something that will have everything we require in a home.

So for the past couple of weeks, we've been scouring the online real-estate sites for other houses. We put together a list of 22 currently on the market that we're interested in seeing. Tonight, Welf and I each picked our top 11 and then we compared notes. We had 8 duplicates. We're each picking one bonus property from our lists to round out the number to an even ten and plan on going house viewing this weekend.

We talked about making an us-only entry in one of our jounrals with links to these various houses to refresh our memories, but I thought it might be fun to just make a regular journal entry out of it. Below are the ten houses we hope to go see. Some of these photos have links to interior photos, some aren't.

MY awesome bonus house, East Second Street

Welf's boring bonus house, Furrow Lane

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