The Woody Project Blog

May 30, 2004

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan @ 6:48 am


It turns out that Jello was invented in the small town of LeRoy, situated about a half hour south west of Rochester, and this town has a “museum” dedicated to Jello.

Christina and I decided to take a trip one Saturday morning and see what there was to see in LeRoy. It’s a pretty little town with lots of majestic old buildings. One of them, the LeRoy Historical Society, houses the museum.

The museum itself is fairly small and without the guided tour you would spend about 5 minutes going through it. The our guide, however, makes the museum. The guide was a little old lady – about 4’6”, a little chubby, with grey hair – she was the stereotypical grandmother. The admission price was $3 each but our guide made it worth ten times that.

Here are a couple of interesting things I learned:

1) When measured with an ECG machine, humans and Jello have exactly the same brain waves.

2) One of the 6 original fruit flavours of Jello was chocolate.

3) Early Jello print ads were duplicated from Jello still-life oil paintings.

4) The inventor of Jello couldn’t make any money with it and sold his recipe and rights for $35.

If you ever happen to be near LeRoy, New York, stop in and visit the Jello Museum – it’s on the main street.

May 29, 2004

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan @ 9:21 pm

Sonnenberg Gardens, Canandaigua, New York

Shortly after the Jello Museum Christina and I went to see Sonnenberg Gardens to see what there was to see.

The estate was originally the summer house of the family who started what is now known as Citibank in the States. The estate is comprised of a 40-room mansion, an aviary (which once housed over 250 species of birds), a coach house, stables, greenhouses, a winery, and 9 formal gardens dating back to the late 1800’s.

Our first stop was a tour of the house. The first and second floors were open for viewing but the third floor and the servants wing were closed to the public. The third floor is not yet restored and is a maze of rooms that reach into every corner of the eaves. The servant’s wing now houses the administration offices.

Here is a picture of the house taken from a corner of the Italian garden.

The Italian garden, pictured below was beautiful and I’m sorry that they hadn’t planted it yet when we were there. The flowers (typically white and red) are planted in the areas of exposed soil (brown in the picture). The 100 year old interlocking brick was in remarkable shape and was easy to walk on.

The rose garden, which is next to the Italian garden, wasn’t in bloom yet so we made our way to the old-fashioned garden, which was. The garden is perfectly symmetrical about the pergola – right down to the plants.

The aviary used to have a glassed-in flying area attached to the main building. The aviary, which looks like a little castle, now houses a snack and pop vending machines and some patio furniture.

The rock garden was beautiful and very peaceful. Imagine how much work it would have taken to sculpt something like this.

In a clearing in the rock garden is this curious structure with a 100-year-old vine living on it. The vine was about eight inches in diameter.

We passed this tree on our walk down the driveway and when we asked an employee we were told it was an English weeping beech tree. Beautiful.

An estate with such beautiful gardens needs a way to supply the flowers and plants needed to maintain the gardens. Here is the main greenhouse – there were about four other large greenhouses but this one was the most impressive.

It’s sad to note that Sonnenberg Gardens is in financial trouble and may not be open much longer.

I hope to return this summer when all the gardens are planted and in full bloom.

May 13, 2004

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan @ 3:47 pm


Perhaps this should have been the first post to this blog, but as they say, better late than never.

Why am I doing this blog?

Because my memory is terrible. Partly.

I want to remember things. I want to remember what I was thinking in the past. Our lives are filled with thousands of different adventures, most of which we remember for a short time, tell a few people around us at the moment and then forget as life goes on. I don’t want to lose those moments.

Maybe in ten, fifteen, or twenty years I’ll come across this blog, read through it and remember all those little things that make life interesting. Maybe someone else will come across it and find it interesting.

Maybe my kids will discover it and learn something new about me, about what my life was like before.

We all feel that we know our parents well, but if we really think about it, all we really know well about them is the things we have experienced with them. We can imagine what they were like before we knew them, but it is just going to be a guess.

I seem to be rambling.

I have always thought that it would be interesting to be able to meet my parents when they were my age (something like Back to the Future). I suppose this is my way of preserving myself.

Ok bye.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan @ 3:46 pm

Inventory Count at Marianhill

1 old person

2 old people

3 old people

no, wait… this one’s cold – allowance for obsolete inventory!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan @ 3:45 pm

Car Go Fast

On the first day of the rest of my life (read: the end of tax season) Dad and I went to Lapointes to check out the new Chrysler 300.

The car is their “luxury flagship” and it certainly is a boat. The car is huge and very luxurious. The new body styling is square and boxy and the front end reminds me of a Rolls Royce. The top end model comes with the recently resurrected hemi engine and every conceivable option.

I found the seats had and flat – they didn’t hug me like mine do, and the transmission felt somewhat sloppy.

It would be an excellent family car but not for me.

Drive now, type later.

May 8, 2004

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan @ 10:55 pm

I’m back!!!

Vacation was awesome, so good to get away from work…

First on my May list is to get my car waxed again. It rained today, and I realised the water doesn’t ball up anymore, it just spashed all over the car. Not good. Made an appointment for Sat 22, cause I’m off to New York this coming weekend to visit Ina.

Work starts on Monday. Actually, I went to the office today to get files and try to get prepped. Will have to finish prepping tomorrow, didn’t get it all done today. I think my brain still thinks it’s on holiday, even though I’ve fully unpacked now.

Other things on the May list include cleaning up my clothes and sending stuff I don’t wear to Goodwill. My friend suggested using the one-year rule: anything I haven’t worn in the past 12 months shouldn’t be kept. That’s going to be hard, since I have clothes that I still haven’t unpacked since I moved back home from Waterloo!! Not sure I’m willing to part with all that…

Plus I need to clean up my mess in the house over all. Mom mentioned something about getting new windows sometime in May, before my sister gets married (in July). That will be hard, finding places to store all my stuff… unless I actually throw things away… sigh…

Bedtime for me. Need to get my brain off PST and back onto EST.

May 3, 2004

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan @ 8:59 am

Please Press Play

I wasn’t quite sure yesterday, but today I’m sure – I can have my life back. It may be a little melodramatic, but for the past 3 months I have done very little else other than eat, sleep, and work.

Tax season changes the life of accountant in many ways:

1) I find myself making lists of things I have to take care of after April 30, what we accountants call “May work”. For example, I have put off cleaning my car, replacing my fog light bulb, getting a wheel alignment, cleaning my room, doing my Blog posts, updating my website, and various other projects.

2) I don’t eat properly. There’s not enough time to make a proper meal so I usually end up getting fast food or skipping meals altogether. This isn’t healthy and it wears at a person.

3) I tend to neglect my family and friends. I see my sister very seldom during tax season and then only time I see my father is for the 15 minutes I take for supper. My email correspondence suffers and consequently there are friends I haven’t talked to for some time.

4) You value your time more. During tax season I take Sundays off and because I have so little personal time I try to cram as much recreation into that one day as I can. I never sleep in on Sundays; I always make a large breakfast, watch at least one movie, and try to get some little project completed. Chad and Mandy have adopted me this winter and to them I am truly grateful.

There are other changes, subtler changes, but that is enough for now. I have to go and stroke some things off of my list of May work.

Wish me luck.


May 1, 2004

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan @ 4:16 am

It’s May!

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