Tales From The Ipe!

I sit by and watch the river flow. I sit by and watch the traffic go.

Spending a Saturday in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania

On Saturday, I went to the gym in the morning, After I got back and cleaned up, we drove an hour down to King of Prussia PA to spend a day. We grabbed lunch at this smallish chain called Naf Naf Grill for fast casual Mediterranean. After lunch, we hit up the nearby Crate & Barrel to check out in person a bar cart that we had our eye on. After checking out the size and quality, we plunked down a bag of quarters and purchased it. Here are some pics — it’ll be delivered early next week.

At 2:25 pm, we quickly drove to iFly for our reservation for indoor skydiving , and we met the Fernandez crew. Our reservation was at 3:30 pm, but you’re supposed to get there an hour ahead to sign in, do the safety stuff, etc. Only Namita and the kids, and the Fernandez kids would be participating today. Why? It’s expensive! Below are videos I took of the Ipes. Everyone generally gets two 1-min flights. The first minute seems to be merely experiencing the wind chamber. During your second go-around, you can opt to go all the way up. They all had a great time.

Namita performing some cool indoor sky diving moves at iFly from Joel Ipe on Vimeo.

Joshua performing some cool indoor sky diving moves at iFly from Joel Ipe on Vimeo.

Lily performing some cool indoor sky diving moves at iFly from Joel Ipe on Vimeo.

After the indoor skydiving, we took a walk around the King of Prussia Town Center to enjoy the nice day and the sun, and grab some coffee from Starbucks. We then walked to dinner for our 5pm dinner reservation at Paladar. Very nice place, and good food, but our server kept getting confused with orders.

Living Room / Den (Lounge?) Renovation – Day 450.75

In the past two weeks, we’ve made some excellent progress with the room:

  1. Put together / added a coffee table 
  2. Added and hung up one piece of art
  3. Purchased a 2nd piece of art, but need a picture hanging kit
  4. Purchased a chandelier (should be up later this weekend)
  5. Purchased and temporarily set up two SONOS PLAY:1 speakers (locations likely to change)
  6. Ordered a custom window bench cushion
  7. Started adding books
  8. I think we’re officially referring to the room as the Lounge.

Ordered and installed new cleats for my road shoes

Man, check out the bicycle shoe cleats on the bottom row. They were in bad shape. I bought them a few years ago during the 2013 MS Bike Tour down in Brielle when my last set broke during the rode (around 30 miles in.)

This time I bought my own off Amazon, and replaced them on my own. No big deal, easy peasy.

Living Room / Den Renovation – Day 432

Couch and new rug set up. Also a 2nd coat of paint on the shelves. Handyman says we can start stacking books this week.

Joel’s review of Arrival (2016)

I started watching Arrival (2016) on a flight to Dallas, but didn’t finish the 2nd half until I had a chance to request the Blu-ray disc via Netflix this week. From what I watched initially, I was absolutely fascinated by the look of the film, and the quality directing. Especially with the directing by Denis Villeneuve, I was impressed with the atmosphere with the film — if this happened in real life, this is exactly how humankind would react, and the challenges we would face in communicating.

The film is based upon the short story “Story of Your Life” written by Ted Chiang in 1998. According to one of the disc extra features, the producers desperately wanted to turn the novella into a film, but he was very doubtful that Hollywood would ever be interested. Finally, when he had a good chance, he made the pitch, and the movie execs said yes.

The film stars Amy Adams as top linguist Louise Banks. The audience is initially introduced to her through some interesting backstory. Soon enough in the present day, the world is shocked when 12 alien ships arrive on Earth. She and Jeremy Renner will be tasked with making first contact with the aliens in America. While Jeremy Renner’s character Ian Donnelly is the scientist, Louise is the key as she must try to make sense of the alien language, then formulate a response. Forest Whitaker plays the gruff Colonel Weber in charge at the alien landing site in Montana.

The film is really different than what I would have expected. Without giving the plot away and ruining the surprise, while the film is really realistic, there are clues that the film is more than the sum of its parts. In addition, the film makes a “Crazy Ivan” towards the end of the film that surprised me, and I like when a film surprises me.

Arrival (2016)

Arrival (2016)

Lily was in an 8U girls softball tournament June 1 – June 4

In May, Lily and a number of girls from our township (and another one adjacent) tried out for an upcoming 8U girls softball / (“All Stars”) tournament scheduled for June 1 – June 4 down in Florence NJ. They had so many girls, they had two teams participating.

I was able to attend all of the games (an evening game on Thursday, a doubleheader on Saturday, then the championship game Sunday morning.) The girls did great overall, and Lily’s particular team went into the championship game against Robbinsville Sunday. It was tough, Robbinsville was just too good.

Kudos to all the girls and parents because it was a lotta softball in four days. Congratulations to the girls for coming in 2nd place.

Living Room / Den Renovation – Day 7

The floor is in!

Living Room / Den Renovation – Day 6

On Friday, our electrician was here for a few hours to install four new 4″ recessed lighting fixtures, and to tie them temporarily to the wall switch. This week, I had to run around to three home improvement stores in an attempt to find four 4″ remodel fixtures, baffles, LED lightbulbs that will fit the fixtures, and summer switches. I wasn’t entirely successful.

The ultimate lighting plan is to have four 4″ recessed lighting fixtures, which we have installed now. We could have gone the easier route with 5″ or 6″ cans which provide brighter light, and can accommodate more varies lightbulbs. Why did we (for now) go with smaller lights with hard-to-find 50 watt light bulbs?

  1. 4″ lights are smaller and more modern
  2. We’re only using 4″ lights in the home office and they’re good
  3. The room now has a central ceiling mount for a new soon to be purchased chandelier, which will also provide another 240 watts of light
  4. We will also have wall sconces on the wall for more reading light

I like the look of the smaller 4″ lights but it’s currently only 200 watts of light in the room, and summer than I prefer. The big job was to install new lighting. If we’re not happy with the 4″ cans, we can easily go back and replace with 6″ lights in the future.

I wasn’t able to find two dimmer switches at three stores, so I ordered two matching Lutron dimmers and a grey two gang faceplate from Amazon.com.

Living Room / Den Renovation – Day 5

Good news! We had our new flooring delivered this week! It has to sit in our house and acclimate to our pocket of the multiverse for a few days before installation early next week

Living Room / Den Renovation – Day 4

This week, the shelves are beginning to go up, and we’ve got one coat of Essential Grey” paint up on the walls. I think it looks nice.

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