Summer 2008

Summer 2008 is officially over.....This is the archived version of our 2008 activities.....

Summer 2008 officially over.

As you can see from the above animations, the weather here will change from being very pleasant in early July, to brutally hot in August, back to being pleasant again in September. There should be NO SNOW here in summer. Our weather is bad, but it's not that bad.

As has become our custom, before we can start Summer 2008, we have a few questions to note. These questions, and many others, will be answered in the course of the season:

  • Will there be peace in Iraq????? Answer...Much to everyone's surprise (myself included), the "surge" of US Combat troops from last year appears to have helped stabilize the situation on the ground in Iraq. That, coupled with a mass disillusionment of the Iraqi people in Al-Qaeda has led to a significant drop in violence. It remains to be seen if this is a permanent occurrence or if the good old days of violence will resume as soon as the US "troop surge" is reduced.

  •  Will Weapons of Mass Distraction be found in Iraq????  Answer....Nah. Not a single cartridge has been found.

  •  Who will we be at war with by the end of Summer 2008??? one new yet. But, the saber rattling against Iran is increasing. So to is the US belligerence against Russia over it's intervention in Georgia.

  •  Will the economy still be heading south courtesy of GWB Jr???? Answer.....You betcha. The collapse of the entire sub-prime mortgage industry has had a ripple effect on wall street which seems to be spreading. Several venerable names on Wall Street [Lehman Brothers, Meryl Lynch] have already ceased to exist. The US Federal Government has launched a $700BUSD rescue bail out of wall street [i.e., Bush, et al's, cronies]. Mean while, unemployment is rising and the average Joe Citizen is not getting any help from the Bush administration.

  •  Where will the webmaster be working?????? where. Waiting on surgery [9/25]. Once that has been done, life will begin to return to normal.

  •  How will the US economy be faring???? Answer...See above.

So, without further ado: here is what we have planned for Summer 2008.

Page Contents:

Just follow the links in the table of contents to go the particular section of interest.

  1. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

  2. Wedding Anniversary

  3. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Cont

  4. Independence Day

  5. A Taste of West O!

  6. Omaha, Nebraska

  7. Back to School

  8. Lisa's Birthday

  9. Labor Day

  10. Football 2008 Season!!!

  11. Visit to New Surgeon

  12. Remembrance Day

  13. End of Summer

Friday June 27, thru Thursday, July 1, 2008:  Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Every two years, Lisa gets to go to a conference sponsored by the AG [Alexander Graham] Bell Foundation. The conference is devoted to the auditory hearing programs for the hearing impaired and deaf communities. This time, the conference was in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. And, as a double bonus [at least for the webmaster], the webmaster was able to tag along for the first time since 2002. Like we said, the webmaster was glad to be able to tag along and be a "kept toy boy'....not quite sure if Lisa quite agreed with that assessment or not.

Anyway, on Friday, June 27, Lisa and the webmaster dutifully departed home in Omaha to head for Milwaukee. After a non eventful flight [with the exception of being served fresh chocolate chip cookies on the flight], Lisa and the webmaster arrived in Milwaukee. We were  staying at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center. For those of you interested in where this is, please refer to the maps below...while in Milwaukee, we were also hoping to get a chance to see some Summerfest activities. This is a huge summer party held every year in Milwaukee.....




After checking in and Lisa registering for the conference, it was time for the webmaster to head out and see what could be seen in Milwaukee. Of course, the webmaster had not gone far before the skies opened up and it started pouring down rain, which unfortunately became the pattern during the entire stay in Milwaukee. So, the webmaster did the only thing he possibly could, which was take refuse in a bar to "weather" the Irish Bar aptly named Moe's Irish Pub...

What was interesting was that at about 8pm, news started coming in from Omaha regarding a major storm system that had swept through the city on Friday evening. While their were no reports of tornadoes, there were reports of straight  line winds in excess of 115 miles per hour, which is more than strong enough to do serious damage to a house. There were also news reports filtering through of major damage and power outages across the city. Given that we were in Milwaukee, we had to find out what was going on as soon as possible. So, after many phone calls to our neighbors in Omaha, we were told that we while our house was okay, we had lost some window screens from hail damage. We were also told that there had been some hail damage to the outside of the house....but, luckily, we hadn't lost any windows and/or sky lights. But, the exact extent of the damage would not be known until we returned to Omaha.

Anyway, on Saturday [6/28], while Lisa attended seminars, the webmaster again attempted to head down to Summerfest by the lake. But, as with the previous day, he didn't get very far before it started raining again....

While taking cover from the rain, and this time not in a bar, the webmaster was able to get some video of the wonderful weather we were having here in Milwaukee...

Milwaukee Rain Video

After the rain finally let up, the webmaster was able to venture out and see some more of the city, this time without having to get wet in the process!!! The webmaster was also able to visit what is probably one the coolest bars in the world....a place called the "Safehouse". It is well worth the effort in visiting.

After catching up with Lisa after her seminars, it was time to turn in for another early night. Lisa's seminar sessions had a nasty habit of starting at "0 dark hundred", so we couldn't exactly have late nights....also, the medications the webmaster was on essentially meant that he was crashing by 11pm each much for late night part goers!!!!

By the time Sunday came around, the webmaster was tired of getting wet, so he spent a very pleasant day in the hotel room, sleeping, watching TV and generally just loafing around. It was just what the doctors ordered.

On Monday's, Lisa's conference finally finished. So, we headed down town to meet up with a very good friend of Lisa's, Brenda, and her husband Gary, at the Milwaukee Ale House. The food was okay, but the webmaster was told that the beer was excellent....

A very pleasant evening was had by all and we are glad that Brenda and Gary could spare the time to come and have supper with us.


Tuesday July 1, 2008:  Wedding Anniversary

It's our wedding anniversary. This will be year number thirteen (13). What will we be doing???? How will we celebrate????

Well, this year we were in Milwaukee, so we obviously had to celebrate our anniversary here. We chose a highly recommended local restaurant called "Carnivore", we seemed to be a most appropriate for a steak place. When we were making the reservations for Tuesday night, we had let the folks know that it was our anniversary, so we were very pleasantly surprised when they presented us with a "modified menu" just for the occasion. We were also given some free dessert, which was also very pleasant.....

While the restaurant itself was a bit pricey, it was well worth it. The food was fantastic and the service was impeccable. Both Lisa and the webmaster would willingly recommend this restaurant to anyone. A great night was had by all.

After dinner, Lisa and the webmaster headed back to the hotel for a couple of after dinner drinks....a perfect way to finish a fantastic evening. Happy anniversary Lisa!!!!


Wednesday July 2, thru Thursday, July 3, 2008: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Cont

And so began our final day in Milwaukee. After checking out of he hotel on Wednesday morning, we spent the rest of the day with a childhood friend of Lisa's [Kay] who happens to live in Milwaukee. It was a very relaxing way to spend  the last day away...relaxing and getting ready for our return to Omaha the next day!!!

For supper, we went to a local restaurant called the Texas Road House. Then it was back to Kay's house for a very relaxing evening.

And so, after an evening of watching movies, it was time for Lisa and the webmaster to head back to Omaha on Thursday morning. All in all, a very good week had been had by all!!!!


Friday, July 4, 2008: Independence Day

How will we celebrate Independence day this year???

Lisa and the webmaster arrived back in Omaha just in time for the July 4 celebrations.  This was also the first time Lisa and the Webmaster could actually see and assess the damage done by the powerful storm that swept through Omaha the previous week. Well, two wire screens were completely trashed by hail and will have to be replaced before the end of the year. We also had quite a few of our plan badly damaged by hail. Finally, we also had some paint damage to the exterior of the house. Luckily, though, there was no major structural damage to the house and we didn't loose any windows and/or sky lights. So, basically, we can't really complain...things could have been a whole lot worse!!!!

All we can say is that it's a testimony to the power of the storm that swept through the area!!!

Anyway, the actual July 4 day was spent at home, watching TV and generally just loafing around the house. But, of course, at 9pm we were out on our back deck watching everyone else's fire works, while at the same time keeping an eye open to make sure no idiot accidently burnt our  house down...


That was it for our July 4 celebrations for 2008. And on rolls Summer 2008...


Sunday, July 13, 2008: A Taste of West O!    

On Saturday, July 12, the webmasters parents, John and Rae, arrived in Omaha for what is now the annual clan get together. By the time John and Rae arrived, it was time to have lunch at Rick's Boatyard (a new (??) restaurant down on the Missouri river). Then, it was back home to unpack before heading up to a local bar for some liquid refreshments.

On Sunday, July 13, Lisa and the webmaster decided that we'd take John and Rae out to second the second annual Taste of West O! [Omaha] festival. This is where all the restaurants, bars and local business's from West Omaha get together for a two day festival. You get to taste the food from local restaurants, see local wares, listen to local music [bands] and, of course, drink beer!!!! As previously stated, this was the second year this festival has been held, and even though last year was good, this year's festival was even better!!!

Without further adieu, here are the photos of the event...

And, as usual, here is a quick video of the event.....


A Taste of West O! Festival


And that was the beginning of John and Rae's 2008 vacation in Omaha...

And on rolls Summer 2008...


Monday, July 14, thru Friday, July 25, 2008: Omaha, Nebraska

The webmasters parents, John and Rae Burton, stayed in Omaha until Friday, July 25, 2008. They had come to Omaha after completing a cruise in Alaska and basically bouncing around the country side to get to Omaha. Refer to the below map for the rather tortuous path John and Rae had to take!!!!

Due to various reasons, most notably the webmasters health, there were no formal travel plans for the period that John and Rae were in Omaha. Rather, the first week in Omaha was spent puttering around the house, not doing much, but generally just relaxing and catching up with what has been going on. It must also be stated that due to some of the drugs the webmaster was on, he spent a  fair amount of time asleep. This was not done because the webmaster wanted to, but rather a function of the drugs he was on.

But, just because there were no formal plans, it did not mean that all of us didn't enjoy ourselves. As previously stated, we spent a lot of time talking and generally enjoying everyone's company. Plus, because we knew that Lisa's parents were arriving in Omaha on July 20, we all decided to give the camera a break for a couple of days. During the week, we went out to quite a few good local Omaha restaurants, as well as consuming the mandatory "refreshing cordials". The restaurants we went to are as follows (to see where the restaurants are in relation to our home, please see the map below).....

  • The Wave Bistro. This is a small place just around the corner from us. The cuisine is "Asian" and doesn't really fall into any particular countries specific's a mix mash of all "Asian" foods. But, the food was great!!!

  • 7 Monkeys. This is an up market bar, again just around the corner from our home in Omaha. The thing we discovered is that every Wednesday they have half price bottles of wine. Again, there was no particular cuisine, just a great combination of good food.

  • Hectors. This is a great Mexican restaurant we have taken John and Rae on previous trips and the food again was delicious. As we were leaving Hectors, we had the privilege of seeing the mariachi band playing. They weren't too bad.

About the only real excitement occurred on Thursday, July 17. We thought we were going to get clobbered by a huge storm, so we all started making preparations  for the worst. Our expectations were matched by the local weather station with its radar updates....

We thought we were going to get slammed.....

Omaha Storm Video, July 17, 2008

But, as with everything in Omaha, the storm turned out to be nothing special. Yes, it rained and there was some thunder and lightning, but nothing extreme!!! Having said that, it needs to be pointed out that the weather in Omaha for John and Rae's trip this year could not have been better. During the day, the temperature only got up to about 85-87F, but, of an evening the temperature was falling back into the 50's and 60's without the awful humidity Omaha is famous for at this time of year. Most evenings we were able to sit out on the back porch and enjoy summer, which is highly unusual. John and Rae were also treated to seeing lots of fireflies...Lisa and the webmaster think that it may be the first time that Rae got to see fireflies. Anyway, it was pretty cool!!!!

By the way, contrary to popular belief, we actually did have a lot of our meals at home. We were not necessarily eating out every night. But, we will also cheerfully admit that Lisa and the webmaster know when the Happy Hours happen at our local bars....but, we did provide food for John and Rae, ranging from BBQ, chicken, etc. This statement is to say that we do actually feed people when they stay with us in Omaha.

Anyhow, on Sunday, July 20, Lisa's parents, Slim and Lynne, arrived in Omaha. They arrived late on Sunday evening, so all we had time to do was to grab dinner at a restaurant called Mimi's Cafe before we all had to retire for the night.....

The next day [Monday, July 21, 2008] started extremely early. The webmaster had a doctors appointment at 10:15am, so he and Lisa had to set out earlier than everyone else. After the appointment, it was time to head to the malls for shopping.

Luckily, the malls were inside and the weather was more than cooperative in that it wasn't too hot. The first mall we hit was the Regency Mall, where Rae was able to pick up some spices she has only been able to find in Omaha (don't ask what the spices' names were as the webmaster does not remember).

As usual, we also have some video available.....


Regency Mall


Then it was time for lunch at the Cheesecake Factory, where the meal portions are HUGE!!!! Luckily, we didn't even have a piece of Cheesecake...the meal portions are too big!!!!

The next mall was Westroads Mall. This time, all we have is video footage from outside....


Westroads Mall


By the way, it has to be stated that Lisa made off like a one-armed bandit in terms of shopping. She was able to find so much on sale that she was able to basically get all her new clothes for the next school year. Plus, the webmaster thinks that Lisa intends on challenging Imelda Marcos for the most number of "owned shoes"....

By the time we were done at Westroads, we decided to head back to our house. The reason for this was so that Lisa could put on a "fashion show" to model all her new clothes [and shoes!!!]....and what a fashion show it was. Unfortunately, the Webmaster was not allowed to take any photos.

On a lighter side, John Burton also managed to get what he was after as well. His shopping, however, was very easy. All he was looking for was a pair of sandals!!!

With the fashion show concluded, it was time for supper at a place called the Kona Grill. This is an excellent Japanese restaurant.

On Tuesday, July 22, we again went to another mall, this time Village Point. This is an outside Mall which is slightly more up market that the other Malls in Omaha. Because it's an outside mall, we made sure we were there nice and early to ensure any outside activity would not occur during the warmest part of the day.

After doing the mall stuff [Rae bought some shorts here as well], we all headed to Jimmy Buffets Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant for a mandatory margarita. The food is not necessarily the best on the planet, but its a restaurant you have to go to when you get the chance.....


Cheeseburger Paradise


Given the temperature outside after lunch, and the fact that Lisa had a dentist appointment at 3pm, it was decided that none of us wanted to wander around an outside mall any more. So, instead of  dying in the heat outside, it was decided to go to the pictures. Slim and Lynne went and saw "Momma Mia" while John, Rae and the Webmaster went and saw "Batman: Dark Knight". Personally, the webmaster was very happy with the choice made.

That night, we all went to a restaurant called "Charleston's", which is a restaurant we have all been to before. For Rae and Lynne, this place is famous for it's choice of potatoes [both baked and soup]. For the webmaster, he remembers this place from when he was really sick in 2002 and all he could eat was soup...and man did they have a great selection of soups!!!!

On Wednesday morning [July 23], Lynne and Slim departed Omaha for home [Sterling, Illinois]. Both Lisa and I think we can speak for John and Rae in that we were all very happy and delighted that they could spend the time to make the trip from Sterling, Illinois, to Omaha to spend time with the Webmaster's parents. The rest of the afternoon was spent puttering around the house in Omaha before we had to make the ultimate decision on where we were going to go for supper. In the end, we all decided to return to the 7 Monkeys restaurant....after all, it was Wednesday and they do have half off price on bottles of wine on Wednesday.......anyway, that's our excuse and we're sticking to it.

After supper, it was back home. Again, we were all amazed that we were able to sit outside in the evening without boiling to death. We cannot emphasize too much that this is most unusual for this time of year!!!!

Unfortunately, on the Thursday [July 24] the webmasters medication did knock him out for most of the day. The webmaster has been told, however, that Lisa, Rae and John did manage to survive without him. Lisa and Rae watched soaps all day....and then discovered a marathon on the Food Network. Over the last two weeks, both Lisa and Rae have become hooked on the following Reality Series programs: "Project Runway" [the Bravo Network], Shear Genius [the Bravo Network] and the series on the food network "The Next Food Network Star". Hopefully, Rae will be able to watch them again when she gets back to Oz....otherwise, she's going to have to wait until she's next back in the US to see what is going on!!!! [The webmaster is sure that Lisa can be convinced to let Rae know what is going on every once in a while].

Anyway, for John and Rae's final night in Omaha for their 2008 visit, we decided that the last restaurant would be Vincenzo's Ristorante, the scene of many a memorable evening. Lisa and the webmaster have been going there since 1996, and we've been taking John and Rae there since about 1997. So, all of us have been going to this restaurant for over a decade!!!!

Once dinner was done, it was time for a last after dinner Red no less. This bar has marked the beginning and end of many of John and Rae's previous trips to Omaha, so it seemed appropriate that the 2008 trip end here as well. Again, the weather cooperated so we were able to sit outside and enjoy the marvelous weather. Hey, we're going to enjoy it while we can!!!! Unfortunately though, it was then time to head back home so John and Rae could complete the fun task of packing!!!!!

Alas, with the arrival of Friday, July 25, came the day that the webmaster was not looking forward to. The time had come for John and Rae to depart Omaha and return to Australia. It seems that the time they spent here has just flown by. It seems just yesterday that Lisa and the Webmaster were getting ready for John and Rae to arrive, and then boom, it's all over and they're leaving Omaha already. Given that there were no formal "travel" plans for their trip to Omaha, and the unpredictability of the webmasters health issues, both Lisa and the webmaster are so glad that John and Rae could come to Omaha and spend time with us. Hopefully, by the next time [either in the US or in Australia], the turkey doctors here in the US will have agreed on a solution for the webmasters throat and stomach problems. One can only hope!!!!

But, it was with a great deal of sadness that Lisa and the Webmaster bid farewell to John and Rae. Hopefully, they did actually enjoy themselves. The webmaster is just sorry that he couldn't be more active and apologizes for the fact that we didn't really do that much while John and Rae were in Omaha.

But, until we see you again next year, this is a temporary "Bye, Bye"...Thank you for coming and we are already counting down until the next time!!!!

And on continues Summer 2008. Both Lisa and the webmaster hope that John and Rae have a safe flight back to Australia....that means a boring trip!!!!


Monday, August 11, 2008:  Back to School

Alas, for Lisa, that time of year has come again. The annual end of summer vacation time to go back to school. While the teachers may have had to go back to work on Monday, August 11, they did not have to put up with actual kids until the following Monday [8/18]. But, it was back to the grind on Monday, August 11....

Alas, on rolls summer 2008.....


Friday, August 15, 2008:  Lisa's Birthday

Lisa's Birthday!!!!! This year, both of us were in Omaha for Lisa's Birthday. Unfortunately, the webmaster was having a medical procedure during the day which prevented him from joining Lisa for a celebratory drink for her birthday. However, it did not stop us from going out to a favorite steak restaurant for a little bit of a celebration!!!

To celebrate her birthday, Lisa was wearing one of the new outfits she bought when both our parents were here a few weeks ago. This number is called the "Audrey Hepburn" look.....and she did look good!!!


Happy Birthday Lisa!!!!!!!!!!!


Monday, September 1, 2008: Labor Day

Ahh yes, the unofficial end of summer. The weather only goes downhill from here on.

This weekend was actually gorgeous [weather wise anyway]. Lisa and the webmaster basically just goofed around the house over the weekend. While we went out on the Friday night [to Red], and managed to see a couple of hot air balloons, Saturday was spent laying around and watching DVD's. Lisa had just complete her first week back at school [with kids] and the webmasters health does not make him exactly the "life of the party", so goofing off at home was just what the doctor ordered. Well. maybe the doctor didn't order it, but we did anyway.

On Sunday, it was much the same, with the exception that we did actually go out for supper [Wave Bistro] and then for a few cocktails sitting outside in the beer garden at Seven Monkeys. Oh, what a life!!!!!

Come Monday, it was time to actually go outside and do something productive...well, would you believe just cut the grass??? While it won't be the last time for the season, it should be on of the last times the webmaster has to cut he grass. But we shall see.

Anyway, here are the last photos of the Burton "Omaha Estate" for the Summer 2008 season:

Here is the panoramic video view from the front of our house....


Front Panoramic Video


Here are some additional photos taken from our back deck:

As usual, here is a panoramic video taken from our back deck....


Back Deck Panoramic Video


Finally, here are some inside photos to illustrate what changes [if any] we've made over the last season....

In in all, it was a very good long weekend. As previously stated, this should be the last outside house photos to be posted for the 2008 Summer season....Also, the webmaster sure does hope that he doesn't have to cut the grass too many more time before the season finally ends....

And on rolls summer 2008...


Thursday, September 4, 2008:   Football 2008 Season!!!

Yeassssss. The long hot summer desert of real sport will finally be over. Gone will be the useless days and nights listening to mindless baseball scores and/or baseball strikes. As usual, we have our annual Football Pool. You can see the web site for our pool by following the Football Tipping link.

Unfortunately, non-paying players cannot access the site....oh, the price of technology...However, you can see how the previous years have gone by visiting this link: Football Central


Wednesday, September 11, 2008: Visit to New Surgeon

This was the long awaited date that we went and saw our new surgeon. This is because the webmasters health issues with his esophagus have not been getting any better. In fact, they've been getting progressively worse over the last few months. So, it is now time to do something about it. Having been referred to this new chap [a Dr. Mittal] at Creighton Hospital, and having spent the last few weeks getting some additional new tests, it was time to meet with the good doctor and determine what our new step(s) are......

According to Dr Mittal, about 10" of the webmasters lower esophagus is so corroded by GERD that it's a miracle that he can still swallow (basically, to use an engineering term, it's stuffed). The doctor also disagreed with the achalasia diagnosis from 2002. His diagnosis is that the damage to the esophagus has been caused by a very extreme case of GERD, complicated further by the fact that it hasn't been treated correctly the past few years. While that does not really impress us, there's not too much we can do about it. Diagnoses' have been made, action already taken and we have to move forward and resolved the problems.

So, the recommendation is that the webmaster is to go and have surgery at 1pm on Thursday, September 25, and have a procedure called "laparoscopic takedown Belsey fundoplication with short limb gastrojejuuostomy performed. This is the official medical double speak, gobbledy gook term for a "Gastric Bypass" procedure. If all goes well, the webmaster will be in hospital for 1-2 days and have a 2-6 week recovery period. At this stage, both Lisa and the webmaster are just praying that this will resolve the outstanding esophageal problems and that the webmaster will be to return to a normal life [whatever that means].

Anyway, as previously mentioned, this procedure will be performed at Creighton Hospital, as opposed to the Methodist Hospital where all the other procedures have been performed. This is quite a ways away from our house, as the following map shows:

Anyway, we shall update the website once the procedure has been performed and we know the results. In the mean time, on rolls summer 2008...


Thursday, September 11, 2008: Remembrance Day

This is not really a day to celebrate, but rather one to pause and reflect on what happened on September 11, 2001. Where were you at 8:47am EDT when the world changed.

We also need to reflect on where we are in our battle, no war, against the cowards and their backers who perpetrated these cowardly and dastardly  acts.


September 22, 2008: End of Summer

This will be the last update for Summer 2008. For all you weather fans out there, without further ado, here are the season's weather statistics:

The first issue relates to flight availability during Summer 2008:

Date Airline Origin Destination Flight Status Reason Added Bonus Miles
Friday, June 27, 2008 Midwest Airlines Omaha, NE Milwaukee, WI On-Time None None 425
Thursday, July 03, 2008 Midwest Airlines Milwaukee, WI Omaha, NE On-Time None None 425
Totals             850

Next, it's onto the weather...

Category Date High Temperature Low Temperature
Coldest Day September 7,2008 53F 41F
Warmest Day August 3, 2008 98F 73F

Finally, the average high and lows for Summer 2008

Category Temperature (F)
Average High Temperature 80F
Average Low Temperature 61F

For those of you that are really interested in the weather, here is the daily, maximum and minimum, temperatures for Omaha over summer 2008.

This should keep you "weather nuts" happy for a while. Remember, people from down under, all temperatures are in F. Anyway, as you can see, come the beginning of September [Labor Day], boom, the temperatures start dropping.

And so, that will be the end of Summer 2008. The long, dog days of summer  finally will be over.

Well, that's it. Follow this link to the Fall/Autumn 2009 season. Otherwise, catch you again for summer 2009!!!!


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Revised: January 01, 2010

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