Friday, February 27, 2009

Somebody Hates Me

If they had a voodoo doll with my name on it, they'd be sprinkling sugar or flour over it on a regular basis. As you can probably tell, it snowed. Again. For the zillionth time this winter. I am so over snow it's not even funny. Once again, these three or four inches surprised me in the morning. That's good because it meant I got a decent night's sleep, rather than worrying about getting to work while tossing and turning. It's bad because I had to get to work in it, and to do that, I had to uncover my car. To give you an idea, unlike last time, I couldn't see the hood or the trunk of my car, and both windows had a thick layer (about like the chairs in this photo) as well. I dumped several puddles into my seat just opening the door, and the back windshield, even after the ride to work, was still completely covered in snow.

Most of the snow melted by the end of the day, and nothing got canceled, but that's more because we've gotten so jaded about snow that everyone ignores it. As every good Southerner knows, when it snows, you stay home, unless you run to the store for extra bread and milk to outlast the white stuff.

It's practically March. No more snow allowed.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Hawaii Here We Come!

We bought tickets to Hawaii! We got a good deal on tickets for my next week off from work. Michal has never been before, and I've only been for work, and even that more than five years ago.

We're hoping family or friends will be able to join us. United and Delta both have deals from Atlanta now, and although I couldn't find anything great from Cincinnati or Texas, prices could drop between now and May.

We haven't done much planning yet. We fly into Honolulu on Sunday, May 3rd, and return the following Sunday. If you have any suggestions for places to see or stay, let us know.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Soda on Demand

We made an impulse purchase (at the RV store no less) last weekend, and came home with a Soda Stream. We don't drink a lot of soda - until now. The machine carbonates water, then you add the flavor of your choosing. I happen to really like bubbly water, so even without the soda flavor it seemed like a good choice.

We've had it for a week now and I've had at least a half liter of soda or bubbly water every day. It's fantastic. It's really fun to make. We got the sample pack of flavors pictured here, but after sampling only one each on Sunday night, we ordered a vat of flavors online. They arrived on Tuesday, despite the fact that Monday was a holiday.

Now we have oodles of flavors to choose from, and the only problem is picking which one I want each day. The best part is that Soda Stream products don't use high fructose corn syrup, which is the part of regular soda I dislike. Their diet versions have about 12 calories per liter, and even the regular drinks have much fewer calories and chemicals than the average store brand. They do get flat after about a day, but so far a bottle hasn't lasted either of us more than 24 hours anyway. Luckily, the starter set came with two bottles, so we can each have one.

I'm off to pick my flavor of the day.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My previous landlords had a farewell party this weekend, and I stopped in to say goodbye. I watched their kids about once a week for the three plus years I lived in the mother-in-law apartment in their basement. I can remember when their youngest, London, was born. She'll turn five years old this March. Her older brothers, Jake and Griffin, will be eight. They moved to California on short notice, and rented their old house out to two couples.

In a strange coincidence, I got a phone call from Sid's mom the same day. We set up a dinner date, and Sid and I had a fantastic time plowing through a pizza and an order of flatbread at Tutta Bella. We also tricked out our set of Wikkisticks. Sid, now six and a half (he was six months old when I started working for them, and not quite three when I left), not only made me a Valentine, but also wrote a huge book (12 x 18) complete with table of contents and an index entitled "Grat Lrnin" (Great Learning for those who don't speak kid). He read me the entire thing, and I freely admit that I am head over heels for it. If you want to hear all the best parts, call me and I'll read it to you. You can also see the head of the woodpecker and hummingbird he made for me in the picture, and he sent me home with many other creations as well as more fond memories.

Monday, February 16, 2009

In the Dog House

We had a visitor of the canine persuasion for the long weekend. Wheatie came to stay with us Friday to Monday while Andy, Angie, and Ally played in Hawaii. We got lucky with the weather, and had very little rain during her stay.
Wheatie has a basket of toys here, and she played with all seven in the first hour. We prolonged the life of several with duct tape, and they lasted throughout her stay. She also slept in several of our old dog beds. For anyone who has met Wheatie, you'll realize that she exceeded the intended occupancy size by a bit, as seen here. Rocket's manners deteriorated during the visit, and she jumped up on anything to stay secure, even though most things were off limits. Rocket and Wheatie tolerated each other, and nine times out of ten Wheatie didn't even approach Rocket unless she ran (at which point the chase reflex kicked in). We did spend a lot of quality time with the squeak toys. Best of all, one afternoon Wheatie squeaked her green bone, and Rocket immediately made the exact same sequence of squeaks from the other room. Needless to say, Wheatie preferred the live version.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Not a Happy Snow Camper

To Whom It May Concern:
When I opened the door to leave for work last Monday, this sight greeted me: 3-4 inches of unpredicted (at least to me) snow. I was not happy. The good news is that I start work later on Mondays, so some people had already driven through the snow and left tracks to follow. I could also see the scary patches easier because it was daylight, and I arrived at work in one piece with no incidents. It snowed more Monday evening, and through most of the late morning on Tuesday. In places like the northern slopes of Beacon Hill, some patches stuck around as late as Thursday and Friday. It's February. I've had enough. If I wanted snow in the winter, I would move to Michigan. Or Minnesota. Or another snowy state. But instead I live in Seattle. Please stop the snow.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

2009 Freestyle Skiing World Cup

The reason we bought the trailer, or at least a large motivating factor, was the fact that I am spending the week in Vancouver living in it. I volunteered for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and in the meantime, I was given the opportunity to volunteer as a ski patroller for the 2009 World Cup Freestyle at Cypress Mountain in Vancouver. There are three events that are a part of the freestyle skiing discipline -- ski cross, moguls, and the aerials. The photo at left was taken tonight at the men's aerials qualifications, where the field of 37 athletes was narrowed to the top 12 who will go on to compete in the final (which is either Friday or Saturday -- I can't recall). Anyway, if you see this on TV, keep an eye out for me!