Sunday, December 20, 2009

Our Trip to Washington DC and Amalea and Andrew's Wedding


It's been a busy month, but back in early November -- November 14th if we had to take a random guess -- Sarah and I traveled to Washington DC for Amalea and Andrew's Wedding, which took place at the Baltimore Aquarium. We combined a short anniversary trip of our own with the wedding to make it a five day vacation.




Tons of photos are to be had:

Michal's Washington DC Photos

Sarah's Washington DC Photos
Sarah's Wedding Photos
Michal's Wedding Photos

Trying to stay a bit more on top of the holiday photos so we don't have this month-long delay in posting to the blog. We'll see how it goes. Oh, and while we're on the subject of delays, if you're looking for a holiday card from us, you'll have to wait a little bit longer :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Today's Tweets

  • 20:05 Just uploaded 3 new photos to my SmugMug "Sports > Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics Tickets" gallery: bit.ly/4CfVJM #
  • 00:47 Just uploaded 313 new photos to my SmugMug "Weddings > Amalea and Andrew's Wedding" gallery: bit.ly/904NT3 #
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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Olympic Tickets!


Our tickets for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver arrived today. 2 tickets to each of 12 events. Now the only thing is to try and arrange transportation and lodging, along with time off work.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Free Fall

The bad news is I fell down the stairs with Max yesterday. The good news is I did not break my foot or ankle and Max is not at all injured. We fell a couple of steps and hit the landing, and the only damage seems to be a bad sprain on my left foot. The official report says I tore two and maybe all three ligaments there, but no breaks and no bone chips, which is all good news, or at least as good as it can get. I have a new fancy pants boot that inflates with air to wear for the next four to six weeks, including for all our upcoming travel plans - starting tomorrow. But I should be back at work as regularly scheduled.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Blitzen and Doner kebob

The only doner kebobs without traveling all the way to Germany - well worth the drive to Portland.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Now that's compact

Only in Seattle: 1 parking space, 3 vehicles. Technically, 1 car space and 1 motorcycle space, but filled with a mini, a smart car, and our scooter.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Penguin Power

Penguins are popular, probably because they look good on everyone.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Tetley vs. Beep



You can ignore the last minute of the video, where nothing fun happens.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Orange Odyssey Photo Fun


In case you missed Michal's earlier post, photos from the orange party are available for your viewing pleasure! Check them out here and here.

Costume Comparison



Inspiration: Lucilla from the Gladiator movie, in her Glory of Rome outfit.







Interpretation: Not bad for a no-sew costume. I am especially pleased with the earrings. Thanks, Michal, and Debbie for helping me get into it!

David Gray

We scored last minute tickets to David Gray's performance at the Paramount Theater. Overall, not a bad venue, and of course, as always, David rocks.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Today's Tweets

  • 01:37 Just uploaded 83 new photos to my SmugMug "Parties > Orange Odyssey" gallery: bit.ly/3RHAXp #
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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Eagle Creek Rocks!


I am incredibly pleased with Eagle Creek luggage. Their Tarmac series (and possibly others) come with a no-matter-what damage guarantee. The claim is if your luggage falls off the roof of your car on the way to the airport and gets hit by the semi tailgating you, and you manage to duct-tape it back together and check it and the wheel gets caught in the conveyor belt and is ripped off and then the luggage handlers jerk the handle too roughly and tear it off while loading it onto the plane because it no longer has a wheel -- well, they'll fix it, for free, under a lifetime warranty. The only cost you have to lay out is shipping the suitcase to them for the repair or replacement.

Well, as it happens, Sarah and I were in REI over the summer (that happens quite a bit actually) and we were looking around in the gear garage, where REI sells off items that were returned (because REI has an awesome return policy that allows you to basically return anything anytime). Sarah spotted a Tarmac 28 bag which, as you can see from the link, retails for $340. Except this suitcase had been returned because all the zipper pulls had been torn off, a few of the zippers themselves had been torn off, and a litany of scratches and other surface damage was present. So of course REI discounts the gear based on how usable it is -- in this case, not very much so, and thus the suitcase was priced at $5 and some change. Then in late September I shipped it back to Eagle Creek -- thanks to my employer's stupendously negotiated rate with UPS, shipping costs were another $5 or so. Today, a brand-new suitcase, complete with tags attached and everything, arrived!

The whole reason I knew about this warranty bit with Eagle Creek is that Sarah got me a Tarmac 22 as a carry-on bag to replace the no-name one I'd had for ages whose wheel fell off a few years ago after an accident with a pebble getting caught in the wheel during the 2001 STP and she felt I needed a suitcase with a good warranty. I certainly don't plan to abuse the Eagle Creek suitcase, but it's nice to know that Eagle Creek does actually honor their warranty without hassles.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Meet Moulin

The merriment meercat. A present from Michal.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Today's Tweets

  • 17:21 Just uploaded 5 new photos to my SmugMug "Food > Avocado" gallery: bit.ly/4aTTmN #
  • 18:08 Just uploaded 31 new photos to my SmugMug "Pets > New Fish October 2009" gallery: bit.ly/1HzKT2 #
  • 23:05 Astute followers of @furchin (is that allowed?) should note I am only using twitter to interconnect Smugmug, Blogger, and Facebook. :) #
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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fish by Mail!

I've done this once before, but it's been a really long time. It still strikes me as really awesome. Everyone knows you can buy stuff online. But I don't think most people realize you can buy pets online. And I don't mean "look online, then go pick up in person." I mean buy online, pay online, next day air box. Well maybe you can't do this with real pets, but fortunately for me, I have an aquarium. A bona fide saltwater marine tank (that's redundant, but whatever). Only I'm not exactly very good about changing the water all the time so all sorts of algae have moved in. Plus the heat wave this summer killed off at least two snails, and it's been a while since I've had any fire shrimp which are the whole reason I got a salt water aquarium in the first place. So Tuesday night I spent a few hours online price shopping between marinedepot.com and liveaquaria.com (the latter won) and picking out about $150 worth of aquatic life, consisting entirely of

2x Fire Shrimp
5x Chestnut Turbo Snail
5x Turbo Snail
3x Dwarf Red Tip Hermit Crab
4x Peppermint Shrimp (they were all sold out of spearmint, sadly)
5x Nassarius Snail
5x Cerith Snail
2x Emerald Crab
4x Dwarf Blue Leg Hermit Crab
10x Astraea Turbo Snail

Now I profess to not really being sure what each specific snail type does (and in fact I can only tell three of them apart, and only name one). I think my general strategy was that I have a lot of different types of algae, so let's get a lot of different types of snails to eat the various things.

So fast-forward to today, when the packages showed up. Ironically, I worked from home today so I could be present to sign for the packages, and they were delivered during the one hour I was at work for a meeting. Good thing I left a note.



Let's open this puppy up! (Oh wow, these pet-in-the-mail jokes literally write themselves, don't they?)



Free Styrofoam coolers!



Inside the coolers are bags of fish, just like you'd get in the pet store. Only they're sealed a bit better (and I think I read somewhere that they use oxygen in the bags). And a few are double-bagged, and there's a couple which apparently don't like to look at each other in dark bags so they can't see anything.



I hold up the bags and eyeball the contents, trying to determine whether the bag does indeed contain 5 snails, and if so, which set of five snails it is. The futility of this is quickly realized and we move on to the next step, floating!



The bags float in the aquarium for 15 minutes to bring their temperature up to the water temperature. After the allotted time is up, into the bucket everyone goes.



The instructions that came with everything indicated the acclimatization process should "take no longer than two hours" in the instructions from the first box, and "take no longer than one hour" in instructions that came in the second box. One box came from Miami and the other from Los Angeles, so I'm not really sure what that says about either city. But guess what? There are like 20 bags here and I only have one bucket. So into the bucket everyone goes. (In retrospect, there's no way the Californians had the same water as in Miami, so maybe I should have had two batches for each time zone. Ah well.)



Then the IV drop starts. Dripping 2-4 drops of tank water per second (actually a little more because of the relatively huge amount of water in the bucket) to bring the salinity, alkalinity, and similaritinity of the bucket water closer to the tank water. This continues until the bucket contains 75% tank water, at which point the net comes out and we transfer the guys into the tank.



This is a rose bubble tip anemone. Sharp readers out there like yourself will refer back to the list at the beginning of this post and notice the anemone wasn't on the list. And you'll be absolutely right -- I've had this anemone long enough that it's undergone asexual reproduction and now I have two (which is really awesome, since they're $100 each at the store). But it turns out that taking pictures of snails, especially through algae coated glass (because they haven't eaten it all yet), is just not that exciting. But you can still see all the photos if you really want.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Saturday: Jay's Birthday Party


This past Saturday we went to the Bottleneck Lounge to celebrate Jay's 29th birthday. [photos]

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Gorgeous Day in the Pacific Northwest

Today was just absolutely stellar. Sarah and I started the day by going shopping to get a doggie life jacket, then we took the kayak out for a spin on Lake Washington. No photos, but the views of Mt. Rainier were just a little bit more magical today than usual, and even Mt. Baker popped out to say hello.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Mt. Ellinor


While Sarah was off doing the wine thing, I took myself to Mt. Ellinor over on the Olympic peninsula. I took the trailer and spent the night at Potlatch State Park, taking some photos late at night and again at sunrise. Then I slept some more, got up and hiked Mt. Ellinor with Tetley, and poked my way back home afterwards. See the photos.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Showers of Wine

I spent last weekend in DC, Virginia, and Maryland for Amalea's Wine and Well Wishes shower. She knew nothing about it, but I think she got the idea by the time we pulled up for our first tasting.

A big thanks to everyone who could join us, and particularly to Leslie for opening her home to a gaggle of girls.

See more photos from the event here.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Waiting for light rail

I am taking light rail to the airport for the first time. Despite just missing both the train and the temporary airport shuttle, it still rocks.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Puyallup Fair



Thanks to Laurel for giving us tickets, or else we probably wouldn't have gone this year. We had a great time. Photos at the usual spot.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Julie's Wedding Weekend


As you can tell from this photo, we had a fabulous time at Julie's wedding ten days ago. They tied the knot just a short ferry ride away from Seattle, the weather cooperated beautifully. You can see all Michal's pictures from the weekend's events here. Thanks to Stefanie for the freaking fantastic hair style!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The cutest pumpkin ever

We got Tetley a Halloween costume today.

Photo Updates



I uploaded photos from both our Labor Day Leavenworth Camping trip, and from my friend John's visit to Seattle the following weekend. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tetley Taste Test


Guess who left their muffin unattended (and whole) on the coffee table last week? And then it's easy to guess who took several bites before deciding it was tasty enough to stash in one of his favorite hiding spots.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Wilkommen to Leavenworth!

Wilkommen to Leavenworth!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Michal makes dinner

In case you do not recognize it, that is french onion soup in too small containers.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Debbie's Lake Party


Saturday was Debbie's annual lake party, complete with bouncy inner tubing. See all the fun photos.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Draw the line

David Gray - the nicest famous person I'll ever meet!

We attended the Mountain Music Festival this evening for the sole purpose of seeing David Gray. He played a private performance on Friday afternoon at Amazon, and Michal got the hook up with his manager. That means when we got to the festival, we not only got to meet and greet David Gray with all the other hundred or so people who pre-ordered his September release, but thanks to the best husband ever we got a personal introduction and three autographs. It totally rocked!

To finish things off, after the awesome show, I scored a guitar pick.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

We made it!

Yay for making the 10:35 ferry on the way to the Olympic peninsula for camping on the beach! As you can see, we were one of the last cars onto the ferry, parked at the back with our very own cone to show for it. Of course, this means we were also one of the last two cars off the ferry on the other side, and stuck behind the long line of ferry traffic. But it beat waiting an extra hour for the next departure.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

We are cruel


We bought some saddle bags for Tetley. He does not like them, but he's willing to put up with them while being fed treats. Now he can carry all his own stuff for longer outings.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Europe Photos



It wasn't mentioned in our last post, but all the photos from our recent Europe trip (Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands) are online now.

Sarah's Photos (177)
Michal's Best Photos (146)
Michal's Remaining Photos (1020)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Europe

About a month ago we went to Saskia and Thomas' wedding in Frankfurt, then spent some time in Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands before flying home again. We took tons of pictures, and did tons of things. Here's a summary of our itinerary, complete with links to the relevant photos for each.

Day 1 - Saturday (Frankfurt)
Dirk's Wedding
Saskia and Thomas' Wedding party

Day 2 - Sunday (Luxembourg)
Travel to Luxembourg
Luxembourg City
- including the Bock Casemates
Continue on to Brussels, Belgium

Day 3 - Monday (Brussels)
European Union Parliament
Arcade du Cinquantenaire
The Atomium
Grand Place
Mannequin Pis and Jeanneke Pis
and of course, beer, waffles and fries!

Day 4 - Tuesday (Ghent and Bruges)
Ghent Belfry
Bruges Belfry
Canal tour in Bruges
and of course, Belgian chocolate (NSFW)!
At the end of the day we returned to Brussels, found a free-flowing, on-the-street, horse-drawn beer keg complete with police escort, and watched a show.

Day 5 - Wednesday (Antwerp)
Diamond Making
Grote Markt
Underground Antwerp
Museum Plantin-Moretus

Day 6 - Thursday (Amsterdam)
Rijksmuseum
Van Gogh Museum
Red Light District
Anne Frank House
Cat Boat

Day 7 - Friday (Den Haag and Delft)
Traveled to Den Haag via Stoptrein through Gouda.
Vredespaleis (Peace Palace)
Gemeentemuseum
Then we moved to Delft for the remainder of the afternoon:
Municipal Museum het Prinsenhof
William of Orange's tomb
Oude Kerk
Nieuwe Kerk
And of course we saw traditional Holland!

Day 8 - Saturday (Amsterdam and Frankfurt)
Oude Kerk
Nieuwe Kerk
Koninklijk Paleis
Then we checked out of our hotel and took the train back to Frankfurt.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

95 in the house.

95 in the house.

Hot, Hotter, Hottest

Also known as Monday, yesterday, and today.

You can probably figure this out for yourselves, but Seattle doesn't do hot. In the seven summers I've been living here, the city has averaged two days a year over 90 degrees. And when I say over, I mean it makes it to 91 or 92 briefly. We rarely see two ninety degree days back to back, and never three digit temperatures, which is why no one has air conditioning.

We've moved into the basement to try and outlast the heat wave. Today I resorted to covering the front window with cardboard, which may do nothing but make me feel better. One fan has already bit the dust from constant use.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Awesome wedding Kelly and Bill!

You can tell it was a good wedding because we're waiting at the light rail station to go one stop home after the festivities, despite the fact that we are now the proud owners of the pictures scooter. We only eliminated part of the walk with this strategy, but luckily it was the entire uphill portion.
Oh, and it was hot on Saturday (high 80's?) so the scooter was an awesome ride to both the ceremony and the reception.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Light Rail: The Bad and The Ugly

Although the light rail is far and away the best thing to happen to the Seattle public transportation scene in decades, there are some glaring downsides which just make me wonder if Sound Transit hired a bunch of monkeys to design it rather than transportation experts from around the world. Here are some of them:

Elevators in the Beacon Hill Station. Carpeted elevators at that. First, there's a reason that almost all underground mass transit systems the world over have escalator access. Drunk guys who like to pee in secluded corners. Guess what an elevator is? It's going to reek of piss for weeks afterwards. Assuming it only happens once in a while. Additionally, escalators break down into a staircase. An elevator breaks down into a cage, as demonstrated by this video. And even if people don't pee in them, guess what? It rains in Seattle. People coming into the station need to get on the elevators. They're going to take their wet feet with them, because the elevators open into the outside. Who in the world thought carpet was a good idea for this?!

Broken Escalators. Tukwila's station had both escalators broken when I was there on Saturday, and everyone had to walk down the steps, wait in line, then walk back up. At least they were working on it. And Westlake had one broken escalator on Sunday which was roped off, but no one was working on it. Newsflash for Sound Transit: a broken escalator becomes a set of stairs. Let people use it.

Readerboards. Each station has an LED message board which says "Sound Transit". What I expected is for it to say "Next Train: 5 minutes" then "Next Train: 4 minutes", and so on. I asked a number of Sound Transit employees and got a variety of explanations, but everyone agreed that it wasn't going to display the ETA for the next train. Most of the reasons centered around the argument that the headways are so short, it doesn't matter when the next train is coming. That's completely dumb. If I just missed a train and need to wait 14 minutes for the next one, I want to know that. Even if the next train is coming in 5 minutes, I want to know that. It's really useful to know how much time I have to kill.

Another Sound Transit employee told me that the technology to do the tracking was brand new and hadn't been designed into the trains. And that buses were starting to get it, but because it's GPS-based it wouldn't make sense for the light rail. Again, I call your bluff. Sound Transit please tell your employees not to make wild-ass guesses when they don't know. The light rail goes through the downtown transit tunnel alongside these same GPS-enabled buses. Either the solution works for both, or it doesn't work for both. And it's absolutely unacceptable to have a brand new system with brand new trains without this capability. Sydney has it. Melbourne has it. Frankfurt has it. Brussels has it. Amsterdam has it. It's not a new or unusual technology. Surely Seattle has it too -- obviously the trains need to know where they are to avoid hitting each other.

I emailed Sound Transit about this issue. Their response? The readerboards are actually owned by King County metro, so they'll forward my request. In the downtown tunnel shared with buses? Maybe. Along the rest of the light rail route? Those are definitively owned by Sound Transit.

I eventually found this post on Twitter by Sound Transit which indicates that realtime arrival information is coming in the next two months. At least it's coming, though no one seems to know about it.

Swaying. When the train sways back and forth, that indicates the track was poorly installed. This problem is particularly apparent in the 5 mile elevated stretch between Rainier Beach and Tukwila. There's no reason that this problem shouldn't have been uncovered in the weeks of testing and fixed before launch.

Light Rail: The Good

The Light Rail opened this weekend. Well, it was open to the public for the first time this weekend -- from 10 to 6 or 8pm both days. Lots of opening day festivities, so it's not really useful as regular transportation until Monday when it starts its normal schedule. Sarah and I rode it twice -- on Saturday down to Tukwila then back up to Othello, then from Othello we took the shuttle back to Beacon Hill -- and on Sunday up to Westlake, then took the shuttle back. Sunday definitely seemed to be the busier day. Here's the really good, really cool awesomeness of light rail (and why we need to build more of it in the region):

Platforms are level with the train, allow disabled riders to board with ease. This is really important for the schedule. When a wheel chair pulls up to a bus, you know you'll be at the bus stop for 5 more minutes while the platform extends, lowers, the person rolls onto it, the platform rises, the person boards the bus and gets strapped in by the driver, the platform lowers and hides again. That's not so on the light rail. Wheel chair users roll right on, with no delay.

Payment is at the station, not at the driver's door. Also really important to the schedule. On a bus, if you have ten people waiting to get on, all ten people line up at the driver's door and pay one by one. I personally can't stand the person who's paying with pennies and dimes, but somehow failed to dig through her purse beforehand. On the light rail, come and go through any door. All ten people board simultaneously, allowing the train to get going sooner.

Stations are further apart. On my bus route, there's a stop about 100 feet south, and one about 10 feet north of where I live. What usually happens is I'm at the north bus stop, and someone else is at the south bus stop. Guess what? The bus stops twice within the 110 foot distance. Everyone on board wastes time, and at the same time gets motion sick if they're trying to read from all the stop-and-go traffic. I want to go as far as I can, without having to stop every other block to let someone else on. With the light rail, the riders are consolidated at fewer stations, so it takes less time to get to the station you want. With the light rail stations an average of one mile apart, the furthest you ever have to walk is a half mile and on average you need only walk a quarter mile to the nearest station. Yes, it's longer than walking a half block to the nearest bus stop, but the advantage is once you get on, you get there faster and with less stop-and-go.

The rails are grade separated for the most part, and get signal priority where they aren't. This means the light rail doesn't get stuck in traffic and there's less stop-and-go making the ride more pleasant. The train only runs at-grade through the Rainier Valley along MLK, but traffic lights detect the train and try to let it through faster.

Quiet. If you've been on the back of a diesel bus, you know why this is important. Light rail trains are very quiet.

No openable windows. No more issues with some drunk idiot getting on the bus in winter and opening all the windows making everyone else freeze just because he got hot running after the bus. No more issues with some crazy homeless guy opening the windows during the summer and letting out all the air conditioning.

Smooth. That's the advantage of running over metal rails. Blacktop distorts from the weight of busses at bus stops, making bumps. And buses are just as subject to pot holes as cars are. Seattle doesn't have the best roads, we all know this. Light rail doesn't suffer the same problem. And a smoother ride means less motion sickness.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Who loves light rail?

Opening day of the new transit system and rides are free today!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tetley and Michal vote NO on wearing

Tetley and Michal vote NO on wearing sweaters. Maybe I will try again in winter...

Introducing Tetley


For everyone who hasn't already heard in one form or another, we got a dog last weekend. He's a bit camera shy, which means when I point the camera at him, he runs.

Officially, he's a Pomeranian, and weighs just shy of 14 pounds, but he's overweight. We're giving him lots of exercise and putting him on a strict diet of dog food (he was previously fed only people food, which explains how he got overweight in the first place), and he's doing great. His target weight is 10-12 pounds. He came with papers, so we know he turns four years old tomorrow, July 16th. He and Rocket are getting along great, although they are still competing for petting. It turns out Tetley has a taste for Rocket's favorite mice toys. Luckily, they are cheap, because he's already eaten one. He can catch treats and other goodies thrown to him, and has already learned sit so well that when he wants something, he does it automatically. He's an excellent companion for walks, although I haven't taken him more than two miles yet.

Happy Birthday Tetley!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Blueberry Crop

The first blueberry crop from the new birthday blueberry bushes.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Brugges

Just a quick update tonight before bed... we started the day by taking the train to Ghent, where we did not a whole lot other than walk the 2km to the center of town and climb the Belfry, which was really fun (by "climb" I really mean "take the lift"). Then back on the train to Brugge/Bruges where we spent most of the day, including 366 steps to climb the Belfry (no lift) and a canal tour. We ended with a 3km walk around town before hopping the train back to Brussels/Bruxelles where we saw some semi-public performance in the Grand Place called L'Eventaile (we think). You needed tickets to get in the bleachers, but we stood on the side and ended up with a decent view. A beer keg being pulled down the street, complete with police escort, gave out free beer. Then back to the hotel to pack up. Tomorrow morning we're heading out to Antwerp for the day (including, hopefully, a chance to see a Gutenberg Bible) then on to Amsterdam where we'll be for the next three nights. Hopefully we'll have free wireless at the hotel there like we do here in Brussels, now that our hotel fixed it (the internet was down the first night).

It's Tuesday, so we must be in Belgium

As it turns out, the title of the movie is eeriely prescient. We spent yesterday in Brussels and are now on a train to Ghent for a short while before heading to Bruges later today. This evening will find us back at our hotel in Brussels for our third and final night before heading to Antwerp and then Amasterdam tomorrow which will become our base of operations until we return to Frankfurt on Saturday.

I paid AT&T $25 for a European data plan and it is most definitely paying off if with nothing else then for the Google Maps alone. We've been trying to keep our map from the previous post updated with our location but the application which updates it sucks battery so I'm only turning it on infrequently.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Where are we now?


GPS tracking powered by InstaMapper.com



Thursday, June 25, 2009

Whistler Weekend


The weekend immediately following my birthday (that's two weeks ago now), Sarah and I went up for a trip to Whistler. We had a great time -- we did ziplining, something we've wanted to do since we were in Costa Rica 6 years ago. We also rode up the Whistler Village Gondola to the Roundhouse lodge, then across on the peak to peak gondola. For those of us wary of great heights, it most definitely is a great height. Apparently they even have its own radar system meant to detect planes heading towards the gondola, and warn them away with broadcasts on aircraft frequencies and strobe lights. It was the longest 11 minute ride I've ever had, and of course you have to do it twice (to get back). And of course on the way back we rode in the glass bottom gondola. View Michal's photos and Sarah's photos.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My Birthday


We went to the Chapel bar in Capitol Hill for my birthday. Thanks to everyone who came out. Sarah has the photos.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Mariners for the Modern Day


Thanks to Michal, we had awesome seats for the game last weekend. We went with our friends Irwin and Dawn to the Mariners' game on Friday evening. You'd think since I saw the whole game, I could remember who the Mariners played. But instead, I had way too much fun with a new feature at Safeco Field: the Nintendo DS.

If you haven't heard (and I believe Safeco Field is the only ballpark with this feature currently), you can take your Nintendo DS to the game for tons of fun. And if you're like me, and don't own one, then as long as you're one of the first 150 people to request a loaner, they'll let you borrow one for the duration of the game.

It was the newest model, which meant nothing to me. What I did enjoy was the fact that you can order food and beverages delivered to your seat, so you never have to get up and push your way out and back in. What's more, you could watch the TV broadcast as well as listen to the announcers, see what's playing on the big screen at the ballpark on the DS, and check scores and stats around the league. And that's just the start of it.

I've never had a baseball game go by so fast. The DS TV feed ran a little behind the live game, so I could watch the action, then by looking down after the play finished, get the instant replayby watching the live TV feed. They also had a pitch monitor, which showed you where every pitch went through the strike zone, so you could agree or disagree with the home plate umpire.

Since the light rail opens in 35 days, and Michal owns his DS, I have a feeling we'll be regulars at the ballpark soon.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Strawberry Crop

My strawberry plants have really taken off this year, yielding a whole bunch of strawberries! The photo is from about a week ago and since then I've had at least a pint more.

Monday, June 1, 2009

May Flowers



I'm having a hard time adjusting to the fact that the month of May, much like April, is gone before I had a chance to notice. We did spend the first part of the month in Hawaii, and then my mom and sister came to town right after we got back to Seattle. I had a big performance on May 15th, singing and making my debut harp performance, and helped coordinate the spaghetti dinner for 100 part of the evening. Which explains where that time went.

Then Memorial Day rolled around, and we had a wedding to attend, and friends over for relaxing on the holiday itself. We took the last weekend to run down to Cape Disappointment State Park for a night. It's near Long Beach, WA in the lower southwestern corner of the state, only one long bridge over the Columbia River from Oregon. Despite the much cooler temperatures there - the high hit 65, I think, while in Seattle it soared into the 90's for the same time - we had a great time and will probably go back again. They have the lightkeeper's house that can be rented out, which seems interesting.

And then it was on to June fun.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ethan and Stefanie's Wedding


This past Sunday Sarah and I went to our friend Ethan's wedding. It was an all-day, entire-city affair with the ceremony at noon at Bhy Kracke park, followed by a lunch at Salty's until 4, and then followed once again with a not-quite-dinner at 8pm at the Luau Polynesian Lounge. Check out the photos.