Tuesday, May 30, 2006

A Huge Post. Get Comfortable.

Well its taken me a while, but here it is. A gigantic catch-up picture post. We just got our internet hooked up today, and we got our phones. Its great to be connected to the world again!

So then. Lets start where I left off...Graduation. The night before the ceremony was an awards banquet. Mike won the Marvin Wagner Award, which is for best teaching by a 4th year, and voted for by the third year class. It was a really fun surprise. He didn't expect to get anything because James actually got a letter in the mail stating he did NOT win a certain award. I guess we should have expected something when Mike did not get a letter. Who knew?

The next day was the graduation ceremony. It was great! The ceremony was everything it should have been. Lots of people giving speeches, lots of people graduating and me not paying as much attention as I should have. The Biomedical Sciences students graduated as well, and as they graduated their dissertation title was announced. Completely crazy stuff like "Characterization of the Transcriptional Repressor Protein, SPIOOB: Protein: Protein and
Protein: DNA Interactions" or "Rac GTPase-Medicated NADPH Oxidase Redox Signaling in Hyperhomocysteinemic Glomerular Injury". Come on, nobody knows what that stuff means! What they should have said was "Johnny studied Protein. A lot." But anyway, you can see all the pictures of graduation and the party here.

So then after the ceremony, we jumped in the car and started our drive to Maine. We took our three days to do it and really had a good time. It was fun to see the country, but mostly I saw this:

And then every so often, we got to do this:

One place really stuck out. Betty Beavers Fuel Stop in New York. What in the world is this place? Crazy stuff.

Claire did fantastically. We tried to get a portable DVD player for the car, but it ended up not working. Even still, she did very well. A lot of sleeping and a lot of singing. And of course a lot of eating candy. Belive me, if the girl wanted a sucker, she got a sucker. It was like buying sanity.

Finally we made it. And it looked like this as we crossed the state line.

But before that, we stopped at Niagara Falls. We have a lot of pictures, and I posted a bunch here. But here are some of my favorites.

Standing at the falls in the last picture was amazing. You could her the calm of the quiet waves as well as the roar of the falls. Definitely my favorite part, it was amazing to stand so close.
The falls were really beautiful. And the town itself was like a Wisconsin Dells carbon copy. It was really crazy how alike the two places are, other than the huge Niagara Falls. And they had some pretty funny signs.

The People Mover sign cracked me up. And then the "Clifton Hill (tourist area)" was hilarious. Like we would have thought it was normal in Canada to have a street where the Incredible Hulk was climbing up a building and a giant Frankenstein was eating at Burger King.

Finally, after we got to our new house and brought most of our stuff inside, we decided to have the floors refinished. They look awesome. It has been incredibly inconvenient, but it was worth it. Now they are dry, so the moving in has begun again and its nice to start to get everything put away and settled. We are still a few days from putting any furniture in the living room, but really we've been so busy there isn't a lot of time for sitting down anyway. So while the floors were drying, we hit the beach. I am amazed at how many beaches there are within 10 minutes. We went to four in two days. Kettle Cove, Cresent Beach, Old Orchard, and Pine Point. All were unique.

We also went to the Portland Headlight again. You can see all of the beach and lighthouse pictures here.

That about wraps it up. I'm going to bed!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

An update for Carrie

Maine has been great so far! We took three days to get here, stopping for the night in Port Huron and in Niagara Falls, which was very cool. We didn't get as far driving the first day because someone (me) left Mike's wallet in Olivet, MI. We didn't realize it until we made a bathroom break an hour and a half down the road. But we tracked it down, which was a miracle because all we knew was that we stopped at a gas station in Olivet. And it was red. But we got it back and really, every trip needs a little drama, so there you go. Anyway, Niagara Falls Ontario is just like Wisconsin Dells in that it is a tourist hot spot, but with Niagara Falls. It was awesome. I guess I didn't expect to be able to see the falls without paying for at least something, but it turns out you don't have to pay anthing to see them. Don't get me wrong, there is PLENTY you can spend your money on, but just looking at the falls isn't one of them. I'll post pictures later.

So then, here we are. We have all of our stuff moved in the house except for the furniture because we are having the floors refinished. We haven't been able to get in for two days now, but tonight is the night we are allowed in with our socks. Hurray! But we have the World's Best Neighbors - EVER who have been feeding us and letting us sleep at their house. And today we are off to see some beaches, since we can't get in the house anyway, and the weather is suppose to be great over the next day or two.

I'm sure I'll have more time to post in the coming weeks. Especially after we get our internet hooked up (tuesday!). Sorry it has taken me so long!!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Its Official!

Michael J. Halberg M.D.!!!!

We had a blast today, and I'll post all about it with pictures and everything. But not right now. I just wanted to be sure this day didn't go un-posted about.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Evolution of Dance

Absolutely hi-larious. I wish I could dance like this.


Moving Day

This morning (after a lot of hard work yesterday and the day before...and the day before that) our basement looked like this.

Lots of boxes, furniture, beds, toys and just plain stuff we could not imagine living without. By 10:00am, our moving truck had arrived, and by 2:00, things were looking good. Mike was lifting vacuum cleaners with one hand, and James was cutting through nylon rope with his teeth. Turns out James has some crazy truck packing skills.

It was just a few minutes later that we realized we may have packed James right along with the chairs. Mike and I feigned alarm and confusion, but really it was just a plan to ensure we'd have help unpacking once we got to Maine.

But that didn't work out like we planned, and James cleverly escaped. Shoot.

Just a few minutes later the doors were put in place...and we were done! Hurray! We used up just as much space as we were quoted for, maybe an inch or two more.

And now I have a place to park my car again!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Enough with the rain already.

Today was the Zoo lunch event for all the graduating seniors. It rained the whole time, but we still ate our lunch and saw a few of the indoor exhibits. One of them was the Bengal Tiger. It would pace in half circles, following the perimeter of the enclosure, and then it would walk through the center directly at the glass window we were standing behind. As you are standing there, you know 2 or so inches of glass separate you and the tiger, but that really doesn't matter when it is staring you down, and walking right toward you at face level. Your knees still feel a little weak, and you kind of take a step back. And if you are 2 years old, you run and hide behind your Dad's legs.
Later, as we walked through the Big Cat building, we saw another tiger curled up and sleeping up on a big rock. We pointed it out to Claire.

"Claire, look at that tiger. He's taking a nap."
"Lets not wake him up."

Probably a good idea.

Not a lot of animals were moving around on a day like today, but many of the ones we did see included babies. Baby geese, baby kangaroos, and baby dall sheep, which Claire loved.

And finally, some cool fun facts about the Milwaukee County Zoo (you get to read a lot at the zoo when its raining).

The zoo first opened in 1892 as a miniature bird and mammal display in a barn at what is now Washington Park. In 1958, the zoo was moved to its present location, and today they have over 2,000 specimens representing 350 different species.

To date, the Milwaukee Zoo has the largest captive group of bonobo apes in the world - 20 total - a highly endangered species of great ape.

In the African Waterhole, the Zoo simulates nature by seeming to exhibit predator and prey in the same enclosure. However, the prey is protected from its stalkers by invisible dry moats weaved between the foreground and background exhibit areas. So the antelopes, zebras, and ostriches live in close proximity to the African lions, and nobody gets eaten.

Who every heard of a 'herd'?

A group of alligators is a congregation.
A sleuth of bears
A flock of camels
A murder of crows
A pod of dolphins
A swarm of eels
A smack of jellyfish
A skulk of foxes
A troop of kangaroos
A leap of leopards
A mischief of mice
A raft of otters
A knot of toads
A rafter of turkeys
A gang of weasels

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Day is Coming

Graduation Day is coming up. May 19th, just 10 more days. The cap and gown have been picked up, and the gown is now hanging up in our room in order to keep the wrinkles away. Claire noticed it, of course, and so we had a talk about why Daddy is going to wear a dress.

"Mama, you have a funny lookin' dress."
"It sure is funny looking. But it Daddy's, for graduation day."
"That's Daddy's dress?"
"It's Daddy's graduation gown."
"Mama. Girls have dresses. Boys don't have dresses."
"This is a graduation GOWN. Its something special for Daddy to wear for his graduation."
"That's Daddy's dress?"
"Yes. It is."

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Back at Betty Brinn

We went back to the Children's Museum today. I think Claire has asked to go there at least once a day since our last visit. She loves it, a season pass would be well-used by this family. It really is a fun museum. It has a lot of great stuff for all ages (including, ahem, adults), it is laid out really well, all the stuff works like it should, and being right on the lake, it is surrounded by beautiful sights. When we got home, I asked Claire what her favorite part was. She said "The drums. And the train. The apple tree, the sandbox, fixing the car, the music...and the drums." We all had a blast.

Percussion Tower

Fun House Mirrors

Sand Table

Tulips, my favorite.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

"Dad, you're the best."

dad is the best
Originally uploaded by shalberg.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

A Book We Wrote Today

"Claire Goes to the Volcano!"

Once upon a time, there was Claire walking in the woods.
And she saw a volcano!
And she was scared. So she called her mom and dad.
"Mom and Dad! I'm scared of the volcano!"
And mom and dad came!
Claire said "I'm scared of the volcano.
Mom and dad said "The volcano is a friendly one."
Claire was happy. She said "Hi volcano!"
And then the volcano was happy too.
Claire gave the volcano a big hug.
And then the volcano started to make steam.
And it spit out crayons!
And then it spit out paper!
And Claire could draw!
So Claire drew a volcano bigger than Mama's car.
And she said "There."
And Claire gave the picture to the volcano.

The End. Thats the rest of the story.

by: Claire Halberg.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

We've been busy!

There is so much going on right now, with moving and Mike's graduation and all. This week, I believe, is "Senior Week", which means there are activities planned all week. For example, last night we went to the Brewer game. It was very fun, the whole section was med students. It was definitely a mix of people, everyone from the crazy guy with the fish hat and "gun show" t-shirt to the family with four kids to the girl yelling and cheering so energetically you are happy you are not behind her because you are sure she's going to forget she has a beer in her hands one of these times. And in addition to all that, it was a great game. Also this week, there is a lunch at the zoo at some point, a golf outing and a formal dinner/dance (med school prom). We'll have to stay up late packing if we are ever going to get to Maine in time for residency.

Other than all that, I remembered a conversation Claire had with my parents, and I thought it was funny. My mom was trying to 'teach' my dad the words to Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. He kept getting it wrong, saying "Supercalifragilisticexpiali-DONUTS", and Claire loved it. Then at one point, Claire said "Grandma, I think Grandpa is thinking about some some donuts! He wants to eat some!"

And other than all that, I have a picture of Dave and Sharon, because I never seem to post pictures of either one of them.