Sunday, November 30, 2008

2 weeks is a long time

I should have posted something last weekend but I was tired. To quickly recap 2 weeks ago I went to PA for work and it was less than exciting in Hazleton but it wasn't as bad I would have expected going in.

We got in late Thursday and Friday was work as usual. That night I went over to Brandon and Lisa's place to hang out and here's where things got crazy. The three of us had nothing going on and we were trying to think of fun stuff to do. After debating various things we could do, like: go for a hike, go to Mt. Rainier, go to Mt. St. Helens, drive to Vancouver, go gambling at a local casino, and after that we got a little more daring. We started checking flights and Las Vegas was expensive last minute; so we ended up flying to Oakland and taking the train into San Francisco. You read that right, at about 9pm on Friday night the 3 of us booked flights to San Francisco leaving at 8am the next day and returning Sunday evening.

Lots of San Francisco stuff was done and I got to see a friend from Milwaukee who moved to SF. Jesse Polski for those who are interested.

Here are the pictures I took in SF.

There a few too many of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz but there are some good ones in there.

From San Francisco

You can only take pictures like this if you are hanging off the front of a Cablecar in San Fran. There is way WAY less clearance on those things and cars than you would imagine. I could have touched a car or truck on the way by pretty much every time. It's a little disconcerting. Things did in SF include the shopping area, BART, Fisherman's Wharf, Ghiradelli Square, John Muir woods (giant redwoods), The Golden Gate bridge, Haight Ashbury, and a few other various things like the Full House row houses.

Thanksgiving was spent a Brandon and Lisa's as well. I don't have any cool photo's of that but I did make a pumpkin pie, chocolate chip cookies, and I baked a Marie Callender apple pie. There were all decently tasty.

On Friday I bought a new Iphone. I haven't completely integrated into everything yet but it's a cool piece of hardware and the stuff you can do is pretty impressive. I can't even imagine what will happen once I start getting into the AP's they've been advertising.

I'm also behind on updating the books I've been reading. I finished Failure is not an Option, and since it's been a while since I've posted I've started and finished Devil in the White City as well. Both are excellent books and Devil in the White City is particularly good as it is a historical fact based novel that reads like fiction. I recommend reading it if anybody is looking for a good book. The next book up is undecided at the moment. I have a big stack waiting to be read but I haven't had a strung feeling about any of them yet. I leave for Wisconsin on Friday something will have to hit me by then because it's a few hours of boredom. On a random note the trip to Wisconsin and Minnesota for Christmas will end up giving me enough miles to be a frequent flyer on the new Northwest / Delta airline. That's kind of depressing in some ways.

As a bonus here are some photo's of Vancouver from Labor Day. I went up with Jay and Mary for the day and ended up having my battery die.

Monday, November 17, 2008

White Stuff

Maybe I'm turning soft in Seattle but there was white stuff falling from the sky tonight. Brrrr - that means it's COLD outside if there is snow. I just checked to see what the weather was like in North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois.... hahaha. I forgot what winter is like in those places.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

James Bond and going to Hazleton PA

I leave for PA in a few hours and wouldn't you know

View Larger Map

rural PA doesn't have and direct flights from Seattle. The result is a 6am flight to Atlanta and then a hop back up to Allentown PA. The downside of living on the West Coast is cross country travel. When I win my millions I'm totally going to fly on chartered jets; with my friends who will be employed in my entourage. A couple of days in PA should be interesting but if anybody has anything to do besides go to Scranton and look for the Dunder Mifflin regional office let me know.

I saw the new James Bond movie, The Quantum of Solace, it's very good but I would recommend watching Casino Royale before you go. They are basically the same movie broken into two pieces so it helps to have a refresher course.

A few years ago I learned to play Euchre and I recently found a group of people into it. It's a pain because it's kind of a combination of Pinochle and Whist, the goal is to take tricks but without bidding. There are cards buried and rearrangements of cards so a Jack is the top card, and well, it's confusing but fun.

It might be cold enough to require a winter coat in PA... ah probably not.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Tom Cruise and Stuff

Election day came and went without a real nail biter on the national level. It was pretty much academic when I left work at 6pm here in Seattle and I was happy about that. 8 years ago I stayed up until 4am watching the results and Dan Rather babbling and 4 years ago I stayed up pretty late watching results roll in from various places so being able to go to sleep at a reasonable hour was nice. There were some big races local to West Coast (Prop 8 in CA and OR - WA Senate races), Washington (Governor), and Seattle (Transit, and Representative) so that was pretty interesting.

My friends went to the results event in Chicago and it sounded like a very exciting time. Whether you are happy with the results or not it is an exciting time in American politics. Barack Obama has awakening a passion in his supporters that was matched only by the passion of his detractors. There are plenty of things we as nation need to work on.

The next day we had an all company meeting and Tom Cruise showed up. He was on a publicity tour for and upcoming movie so he stopped in for an interview for the website. He didn't jump around or say anything too crazy but he goes shopping for Airplanes and Motorcycles instead of more pedestrian things like books, TV's, and so forth. He is short though. I didn't really get close enough for any photo's or anything this time but you could tell he was short when he was standing next to people on stage.

The Big Brother Big Sister (BBBS) program started up about a month ago and it's the same old thing. I'm unimpressed with the school but there does appear to be a new principal in the place so maybe things will improve. They publish standardized test scores in Washington and the school I visit has some of the worst elementary scores in the state. It's depressing to spend much time in the school. I bought a "lunch" to show people what they try to feed kids today and it's pretty gross. A Gyro sounds good but when it's microwaved and sitting for 30 minutes before it's eaten it's actually pretty gross.

I booked my flight to Allentown PA on Friday and I'm heading out to our PA warehouse at the start of next week. Hazelton is a small town about an hour from anything. Rumor has it the best place to eat is Subway, which suits me just fine. I think the miles I'm getting from this trip, my trip to WI, and going home for X-mas will give me status on Northwest or Delta or whatever the new company is going to be called. I'm the lowest grade of frequent flyer!!! Yay.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Baconaise and Halloween

A few posts ago I mentioned the belly dancing and how I would post photo's when they were available... here they are.

I've pulled out a few that are funny or show me looking particularly foolish.

There are a lot of photo's in there and quite a few crack me up. Thanks to Yvonne for the Belly Dancing photos.

Jay Lackey was about as excited for Bacon vs. Mayonnaise wrestling as I was; only Jay was 2000 miles away and hassling me about this blog entry. On Thursday I went to a nightclub in Seattle hosting the charity event of Baconsalt. Baconsalt is exactly what it sounds like - Salt that takes like Bacon. I haven't tried it yet myself but it sounds awesome. Apparently the number one request from customers was for Mayonnaise that tastes like Bacon. This generated a fair amount of animosity between these two employees of the Baconsalt company. I HIGHLY recommend watching this...

As you watched the tension was unbearable.

The final fight looked something like this.

There were also photo's... but for the sake on time

You can see me in the background talking to a girl with long dark hair. Charmaine works at Amazon with me and just got married this weekend. Congrats!!

I can't even begin to tell you how funny the wresting was and when mayonnaise ends up on smooth concrete it became incredibly slippery. People were falling over everywhere.

Friday night was Halloween and I busted out my lame graduation cap and gown. It's lazy but it counts as a costume. There are lots of photo's

Album number 1 Thanks to Marla for these.

Album number 2 Thanks to Jeremy for these.

for people who don't want to look through photo's of people they don't know...

You might notice the large dangling pearl earring. In 2003, after the Final Four, David, Stu, and I were walking around a mall in Milwaukee and I started talking stupid. I ended up leaving the mall with my ear pierced for 6 weeks. I know I found good people in Seattle when after some liquid encouragement I ended up re-piercing my ear using the same scar tissue / piercing spot in a bar. I would like to add that the hole was pretty much closed up when I did this and it was much harder to push through the back of my ear lobe than I would have ever thought. Cartilage is tough! For those interested I took the earring out about 20 minutes after I put it in.

Saturday night I went to Charmaine's wedding (the coworker from the Bacon v. Mayo wrestling) it's been a very busy couple of weeks.