2010 May 23 | Mountasia, Italian Fest, Dynamo

This storm was brewing while I was in Wal-Mart, so I wanted to get out quickly. However, I ended up spending some more time in the store by helping a guy who didn't have his phone on him find Mario Party 8 for the Wii after the Fry's he went to didn't have it. It was especially bad for him because we were on the south end of Houston and he lived on the north end, so he had already done a lot of driving. He asked me if I knew of any other electronic stores in the area, and there weren't any, but we hunched over my phone mapping them out and calling them up until we found a place that had it.

My gigantic $6 check for jury duty. All I did was show up at 8am, sit around while they called some other jurors, and then dismissed everyone else at 11am. The people who told us what was going on were really funny, though.

There were lots of spiders at the mud volleyball tournament, and everyone got at least a few bites. Thankfully I only had a few on my toes, but it looks like they actually were swollen and filled with pus.

There are a couple of these yellow speed bumps in the parking lot at the office, but as long as there aren't cars parked in the spaces by them, you can just drive around them.

Not sure exactly what happened here, but it looks like a bus hit a semi in the HOV lane.

And it jammed up traffic not only in the HOV lane but also all the other traffic in that direction because of the fire engines and cops.

Tuesday night we went to The Tavern and played ping pong.

You had to get the balls out of the vending machine. Although we only used one and it was still in good shape, so I wonder if they go around, collect them, repackage them, and put them back in.

Jenny racked the balls. Unfortunately, she let one get away and it went down into a pocket. That was 8.3 cents of fun, gone forever.

Jenny breaking.

Well, she got the other ball in the pocket, but if you look at the trajectory of the cue ball and where I'm standing, I think I'll find a different angle to take pictures from.

That's my kind of study. Unfortunately the can't pay people, but I think the free alcohol is payment enough.

All the stuff in the back of the Jeep that I took out to clean it. I was hoping I could leave some of it out, but nope, I ended up putting it all back in because I use it on occasion.

There was an accident here and like four tow trucks were sitting around for two cars. I wonder if they were fighting over who got to tow the cars or something.

Funny book.

Some of the over and under highways in Houston.

The parking spaces here are weird because they have lines there, but if someone parks on the other side, you won't be able to get out because the giant pole is in the way.

Fran and I eating at Pradaria, a Brazilian steak house. I had a coupon and she wanted to take my out for my birthday, just slightly belated.

In a Fry's parking lot. I'd guess it's only for if there's a robbery going on or something, but maybe police park there whenever they just need to run in and get some electronics?

A really nice house on the way to the office.

A billboard also on the way to the office. It kind of freaks me out because it looks borderline fake/airbrushed, but not definitely.

We went to Mountasia Friday night. We had one coupon for four hours of free play and one coupon for $10 off. Plus, there was a special that the unlimited wristbands were $18 instead of $25, so the two of us got to play for four hours for only $8 total. Talk about a good deal.

When we were going to go play volleyball, Jenny said, "Asians don't tan." I said I knew differently from my classmates, but she said I was wrong. Well, your tan line proves me right, heh.

A waterfall on the golf course.

A rock elephant fountain on this hole.

And a cave on this one.

This hole didn't have a barrier around the edge here, so my ball went under the bushes. I never found mine, but I did find another one.

We mainly went to Mountasia instead of the other parks in Houston because it's the only one with go-karts, and mini golf, and bumper boats that's not really run down. All the other parks don't have all three of those. However, they shut down the bumper boats an hour before closing, so we didn't get to go on them.

Jenny on her go-kart.

And me.

Going around.

Saturday morning we went to rummage sales in the Heights, which is a slightly nicer neighborhood. Not sure if $150 is a good deal for a kayak, but I did get a really big beach towel for $1 here.

A neat tree that branches all the way across the road.

A whole series on Scientology. Actually, now that I think about it, I should have bought these and tried to re-sell them since they're so expensive if you buy them directly from the Scientology people.

Almost a good deal except there aren't any red chips.

Jenny looking over all the possibilities.

The lady said these mardi gras beads were selling like crazy.

A neat wind chime made out of shells, although it wasn't for sale. Then again, I'm sure if I offered her enough, it would be.

Yard sale signs all over this intersection.

Jenny getting into the wrong vehicle on the way back, haha.

A neat house.

Oh, look at all the Christmas stuff. Good thing Mom's not here.

These people had a ton of neat stuff and a nice deck, too.

Including these watches. Unfortunately, everything was a bit pricey.

Although Jenny did find this neat picture frame she got for $3 instead of $5. Also, it was neat how they put the little flags across the road; really good at getting your attention.

What a neat playground: dinosaur bones to climb on.

All of the standard rocks on the Moh's hardness scale, except the diamond isn't included. Which, of course, was the first thing I looked for. That would have been a really good deal for $2.

I remember having a rolling ruler like this in grade school. I thought it was so neat.

A guy left his cigarette here when he went into the store. That doesn't look too sanitary, although at least the part he puts his lips on isn't actually touching anything.

Playing volleyball.

Bruce digging the ball with Jenny watching.

Me about to hit the ball.

Leslie with a dig.

Jenny about to hit the ball.

This highway was all jammed up. I don't know exactly what it was, but I think some important person was coming through because all of the exits were blocked off by police cars.

Thankfully we could just drive across the grass here to get on the regular local streets.

Proof that you don't need to be rich to have fun: all these kids in this less-than-wonderful neighborhood and apartment complex are having a ball in their blow-up pool.

I'm not sure if this is some kind of neighborhood rummage sale or something...

... but all the houses along this road had clothes for sale hung out on their fences.

Or maybe they do it every weekend.

This is a confusing intersection. You come from an undivided road to one that's divided by the tram. So if you don't know you have to swerve over to the right, you're either gonna meet traffic or a train head-on.

That afternoon we went to the Italian Festival.

One thing they had was dancing demonstrations. Jenny knows Susana Collins, who was doing the tango.

Some neat moves.

Yummy Italian food.

Italy was playing Germany in soccer and they were showing it on the TV. The crowd went wild when Italy scored, which was twice, and when Italy won, some guy opened a champagne bottle and sprayed the crowd, which made everyone run away, haha.

Don't really want the drinks, but the light-up swizzle sticks are neat.

Nice car and nice woman.

Some more expensive cars.

The kids area.

More dancing, salsa this time.

The instructor.

Some students.

And they even pulled people out of the audience to teach them.

Some cool furniture.

The wine tasting area.

Specs had a lot of booths with tons of wine to sample.

Our favorite one.

A fashion show.

The purse the lady on the right has is neat: a heart for a handle.

We saw it as we were walking along and Jenny wanted a picture by it. She leaned on the counter, and of course it wasn't very study, so the purse fell. Thankfully I caught it midair because it cost $25,000.

Back to wine tasting.

You had to buy tickets to get food. However, they only sold tickets in $10 packs, which didn't quite work out for what we wanted. Although we only had $1 left over, so it wasn't too bad.

Another fashion show.

These little girls got right up front.

Tammy called me and asked if we wanted some last-minute Dynamo tickets she had. So of course we said yes, especially because neither of us had ever been to a soccer game before.

Best of all, they were box seats.

The four of us.

Me watching the game with downtown Houston in the background.

Jenny and I with a couple of Dynamo Girls. Her dress actually had two big black straps, but one of the buttons holding one of them on broke at the Italian Festival, so she just unbuttoned the other one and shoved them down inside the dress. I actually like it better this way, though.

Our favorite place to eat breakfast in Houston is Baby Barnaby's. It's usually pretty busy, so we park east of it a few blocks. This lady is always out working on her beautiful lawn when we walk by.

This time we got there before 10am, so it was pretty empty. Much later and you have to wait in line for 30 minutes to an hour.

A notice that the owner missed the census worker. Looking at the house, I'm pretty sure it's not going to do any good.

Jenny left her door open. Good thing it's a pretty nice neighborhood and nobody decided to take anything.

And another fun afternoon of volleyball.