Hello winter, I see you’re doing well…

I have been getting pounded with snow the last few days. It snowed 3-4 inches Friday night and then 4-6 inches Sunday night. Both times enough snow that a good old fashion shoveling was required. Saturday was fine I could do the work at my leisure. Monday morning however was a bit tougher. I sprung out of bed at 5am expecting the worst. We didn’t get the “worst” but it was a solid snow fall for sure.

All Photos From Monday Morning

In a shocking turn of events. My commute although filled with anxiety, was rather smooth. I was up so early I decided to take an earlier train (the 7:14am). Believe it or not that sucker was on time! With the other delays in the system I caught my connection at Newark Broad with only a 2 minute wait! Way to be NJT!

In other news on Saturday our new furniture arrived. In 2008 we bought a beautiful sectional couch from Room and Board called “The Clarke”. It served us well for many years. In the apartment it sat in a corner and fit the space perfectly. In the house, however it divided the room in a way that made the space feel smaller. In a shocking turn of events we bought a new couch and chairs. It’s quite unusual for us as it brings a whole new set of dynamic colors into the house.

This past weekend Kate and I took a bit of a miniture vacation and went to the Catskills and stayed at Scribner’s Lodge. The Catskills are getting a bit of a revival thanks to the Brooklyn hipsters. There are many new lodges up there newly built to attact those trendy trust fund babies. It works out great for us because the places are nice and the food is good. We just have to put up with the occasional Brooklyn hipster parent and child or a loud conversation about healing crystals.

We drove up on Saturday and got to the lodge around 3. The lodge is located very close to Hunter Mountain a small ski resort. We had the possibility to go skiing on Sunday but unfortunately it was raining and it was stupid windy.

Instead we went to the a different lodge for lunch called Deer Mountain Inn. It was all super lovely. The food was great and the lodge its self was really cool. The only thing about all these lodges is that they allow dogs. There was this french family eating a few table down from us. They had this little dog wandering around the dinning room. After some time the little guy walked to the center of the room and took a shit. In true french family style not one of them got up to clean up the mess, they waited for the hotel staff to take care of it! WTF! “Build That Wall” amirite!

The rain kept us inside at Scribner’s the rest of the day. That was fine, it was good to relax a bit. Work has had me prey stressed out. I took the time to start the timeline for the next big van trip in August. Kate and I also played more than a couple games of pool of which I think we broke even. Of course Kate can play pool! Kate is magic we all know this.

On Monday we headed home in the moring. It had snowed over night and up in the mountains we drove though a couple of patchy snow squalls. We stopped at our fav the Phonicia Diner for breakfast it’s always good. We were home by noon so I did a bit of work from home for the afternoon.

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Well I certainly hope you had a lovely President’s day. Any time there is a 3 day weekend in the mix it makes the crushing winter season a bit more manageable.

We kept things pretty quite, #lesschulman Jon Schuman and his wife Kate came to visit because Kate had a baby shower to attend. We went into the city on Sunday for dinner at The Lafayette which was nice. I had the burger which was different for me. I don’t usually do that as a burger can be hard on the system.

On Sunday we hung out at the house and started a puzzle we then finished on Monday. (See said Puzzel below) As you may have noticed it is a hilarious puzzle of kitties enjoying a day at the beach. Can you imagine! (just for the record I know this is not cool, but its what I did, and its winter time so deal, we all have to.)

We had a good visit, it was great to see the Schulman’s I just wish it could be a bit warmer.

Oh, and to put your mind at ease Buttfuzz survived even though she hates John more than anything on this Earth. Why? No one really knows. John did something awful to her years ago I can only assume.

Today is very cold. Kate and I walked to the Highland Station train it was -2 air temperature and -15 with wind chill. The picture below was taken at 7:53 am.

There has to be a better way….

Kate is very cold in this photo

Hello everyone.

Today was a big one here in the NYC area. For those of you that drive around the region you may be familiar with the Tappen Zee Bridge. As you may know The Tapp (as it’s called) was replaced with a new bridge. Today they had to blowup what was left of the old bridge and drop it into the Hudson. It was too decrepit to take down safely so they had to drop it. Watch the video it’s great!

Happy New Year everyone.

We headed up to the Catskills, more accurately Phonicia to a house with our friends for New Year’s Eve. It was a good time. The house was roumored to be haunted and by looking at it you would certainly agree. Although it was just wishful thinking on our friends part. Kate and I stayed on the top floor of the house (the most haunted floor) and sure we saw the ghost of a little boy from the turn of the century playing with that stupid wooden hoop that you hit with a stick. His name was Oliver and he died of the whooping cough in 1903. But that doesn’t make a place “hunted”!

On New Year’s Eve 5 of us went for a cold weather like up to the top of Giants Ledge. There was a bit more ice than I had planned for but we made the hike just fine. I used my osmo 2 steady cam to shoot a super boring video which you can enjoy here.

This may or may not be well known, buuuuuut after I have a few holiday drinks I tend to be easily cajoled into singing some Beastie Boys songs if there is a mic around. Turns out the speaker playing the music happened to have a mic plugged into it. I took the opportunity to indulge myself.

All in all it was a great time, it was great to see everyone. Things certainly got rowdy.

Resolutions you ask? Well, that’s a great question. I think the only one I’m interested in discussing is the Van trip we are planning this year. We are hoping to go North West this time. I will divulge more as the planning progresses.

Merry Christmas everyone.

This year we all went to Stowe Vermont to a rented house my parents organized. In keeping with the Holiday Spirit, we all attended Kate’s parents, us and my brother John. It was a great way to get us all together for the holiday.

There were many many cookies, ham, and a kitty puzzle. On the 26th we went skiing at the Stowe Ski Resort. It’s a beautiful place. The runs are pretty long but really icy.

It was great to see everyone and have a comfortable place to enjoy the Holiday!!


Well this is it! 12/06/2018!!!

The kitchen project is complete! Coming in at 177 days from start of demo. Countless hours of prep, 1 lost summer, and an undisclosed amount of money that I know down to the cent!

In choosing to manage this project ourselves we saved about $20K. This made the project possible. We stayed with in the budget we planned for when we started. While still being able to include many custom built pieces. The island table, the range hood and the open shelving. The stroke of luck was the neighborhood carpenter that did all the cosmetic work except the painting. Doug is a true professional, and a great craftsman.

Is it perfect? No, of course not. Is it appropriate in budget for the house? Yes! It is also very much loved by Kate and I and that is most important.

Now check out the pictures!

How can we forget where we came from. The Italian French fusion that haunted my life

Hey everyone. A couple of updates so I don’t forget.

2 weeks ago my brother Big John Diehl and his fiance Kristin came to visit. They had plans to go to the Noter Dame football game at Yankee Stadium and came to stay with us for an evening. It always great to see John, and it was great to show him the house and all the work we did with the kitchen. The people they were going to the game with backed out at the last minute so Kate and I went to the game instead. We all know how I feel about Noter Dame and how I feel about football so I won’t bore you. That said it was worth it to spend some more time with John!

Happy Thanksgiving! We stayed home in West Orange NJ this year for the entire holiday. Kate made (and I can’t stress this enough) the most wonderful Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey, potatoes,homemade stuffing,corn casserole, brussel sprouts, and 2 pies! We had our friend Nick and Annie over to enjoy the meal and it was a nice time. On Saturday John Schulman,Katie Nolan and Jenn Norwood came over to hang out. It was a fun evening of acting stupid and being loud which is my want!


Just a couple of updates:

First, the hood is up! The tile and potfiller are in(not pictured)! Only the shelves are left to be done and this long national nightmare is over! We meet with Doug (the carpenter) tomorrow morning to go over how the shelves are going to work. It’s exciting!

Second, my best friend Jon John Schulman came up for a visit last weekend and we had a fun time. We went to this thing called the Color Factory which was kind of a color exhibit or installation. Just a bunch of different ways to experience color. All and all it was a fun weekend just making jokes and hanging out. Sunday we even took the van out for a drive.