Friday, June 29, 2007

Random Photos

Blog posts will be minimal for the next week or so, as I shall be far, far away.

During the meanwhilst, why don't you head over to my flickr page, where a random selection of photos will be arranged daily.

Cheerio!

Fly Away!

Sunday evening, waiting in the airport...
15-TowerSunset
Can you spot my flight?
18-SeaTacDepatureBoard
Eventually we flew down to Oakland.

Skip all the boring work stuff. Let's get back in the air.
24-InnerHarbor
Up the Central Valley. . .
31-WillowCreek
Just to the left of Mt. Shasta!
35-MtShasta
And Crater Lake.
40-CraterClose
And all the way up the Cascades past a seemingly endless string of volcanos. My camera battery died as we neared the end, or else I'd have some great photos of Seattle, too. But you can see Lassen Peak, Mt. Shasta, Three Sisters, Broken Top, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Rainier over on flickr and flickr. From the plane, I spotted Glacier Peak and Mt. Baker, too, but that was after my camera died.

And to think I planned on sleeping on that return flight!

Don't Buy Chinese Food & Goods

While some wonderful things come from China, for your health and well-being you shouldn't buy Chinese!

Honeymoon Weather Final Prediction

Short-range forecast for the first day of our honeymoon:

Scattered Thunderstorms, 89°F, 60% chance of precipitation.

Back to needing an umbrella...

. . .

Mid-range forecast for the first ports of call of our honeymoon:

Scattered Showers, 88°F, 30% chance of precipitation.
Few Showers, 87°F, 30% chance of precipitation.

Hey! It dried off a bit! ... I wonder what the random-number generator will say tomorrow.

Wedding Weather Final Prediction

Short-range forecast for the big afternoon:

Mostly Cloudy, 69°F, 10% chance of precipitation.

See? I said it wouldn't rain!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Mason Lake hike

Up the hill we go, through the enveloping rainclouds.
M-TrailBeargrassWest
Eventually we get to Mason Lake. The rain briefly stops.
C-MasonBanderaReflection
But then it starts again.
J-MasonRaindrops
The girls cower from the rain and cold (in my extra clothing).
L-MasonChristinaChunlinRain
And homeward we hurry.

Sing to the Sun


14-22-SundialSun

All hail the most wonderful and beautiful Píríuso, God of the Sun! Do not spite Him for His skill, prowess, and knowledge. He is perfect and you are not, and that's just the way it is.

To celebrate, let's go have an archery contest, followed by a poetry recital, after which shall come a chariot race, and then a singing competition, and finally perhaps we'll just bask in His glorious brilliance.

Oh wait. It's overcast today. Darn You, Rana!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Humidity and a Sunrise: the Perfect Combination


Sunrise through a Foggy Window

With the head of a bear, a fondness for bodily fluids and sunrises, and an insatiable desire for His sister, Rakazhazhíní, you'd think that Hérazhahívo, the God of Humidity, would be quite a fun guy to be around. And you'd be right!

He is the god of new beginnings, the dawn, and morning dew. As the god of those sorts of things, it is only right to ask Him to bless any new ventures one is about to embark upon. So, with that in mind, let us all pray to Him that my marriage goes just swell and dandy. Amen.

Saturday Night Sunset

11-BeachChunlinUp

Saturday evening, Chunlin and I wound up at Lincoln Park on the beach to watch the sunset. In the photo above, she's watching the moon instead.

1-LincolnParkSunset

Hopefully I'll get the chance to upload photos from our Mason Lake hike Sunday and my business trip to Oakland Monday before we leave this Saturday. If not, oh well. You'll just have to wait.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Honeymoon Weather Update

Mid-range forecast for the first day of our honeymoon:

Scattered Thunderstorms, 89°F, 30% chance of precipitation.

A little bit warmer, quite a bit drier.

. . .

Long-range forecast for our first two ports of call on our honeymoon:

Scattered Showers, 88°F, 60% chance of precipitation.
Showers, 86°F, 60% chance of precipitation.

Perfect weather for lying on the beach!

Wedding Weather Update

Mid-range forecast for the big day:

Few Showers, 69°F, 30% chance of precipitation.

Getting wetter. . . But it's not going to rain! Trust me.

Today is . . . Tuesday?

Right?

I was away from home only 26 hours, but it sure felt longer. And the office? Downright foreign.

Sunday night, my plane was supposed to leave at 8:30. When I walked to my gate, I saw the departure board said 10:25. !!!!! Our plan was to arrive at the hotel around midnight, so this pushed it to two in the morning. I was feeling tired just thinking about it.

Alaska had another flight to Oakland, supposed to leave at 7:30, but bumped to 9:00. I got on standby, but it was overbooked. My coworker didn't show up at that gate, anyway, so I wouldn't have been able to get onboard even if they called my name.

While waiting out at the North Satellite, my 8:30 flight got bumped to 10:35, and then to 11:20.

All the Alaska flights seemed to be delayed by an hour or more, no matter where they were going. They were short on planes. They were short on crews. They were unprepared, apparently.

The "7:30" flight started boarding, my coworker nowhere in sight, so I headed back to the C Terminal for the gate my ticketed flight was at. My coworker wasn't around (I had the gate desk page him), but they did hand me a $6 meal voucher.

I eventually found my coworker in a bar.

I convinced him to try other flights, try anything to get out of there so we weren't arriving at the hotel at three in the morning. The Sacramento flights were delayed as well, and overbooked, too. One delayed San Francisco flight had a single seat available, but that would do us no good. Southwest also was flying to Oakland, but we'd have to purchase tickets all over again from them since they're not partners with Alaska.

My coworker and I returned to the bar.

The flight was rescheduled to 11:50. The gate was changed.

As we sat at the new gate, they made an announcement that our crew would be arriving "around one." Nobody believed them.

They offered hotel vouchers and rescheduling for flights the next day. Some people took them up on their offer, but not us. Our only options were to wait it out or cancel the trip altogether. I have too much wedding planning stuff to do this week, that I wouldn't have been able to go down anytime other than Sunday-Monday.

The departure board finally switched to say 1:30 a.m. We were now five hours delayed, which meant arriving at our hotel at five in the morning.

Which was exactly what happened. As the sun was lightening the northeastern sky, we arrived at the hotel and checked in. I wasn't too tired when driving. Having a near-empty highway to work with was nice, though.

When we got to the elevator to head up for our two hours' sleep, some businessman exited the elevator, fresh to start his day.

. . .

Coming home, we managed to get on an earlier flight. It was delayed over an hour, but it still got us home earlier than our scheduled flight. Yay.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Another Business Trip

And off to Oakland I go. . .

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Rings

RingsTwo
RingsThree

Promotion

Christina finished eighth grade! Thursday, we went to her promotion ceremony. As one of two ASB VPs, she got to read out half the kids' names.

12-ChristinaWetPingPongBall
She won an award in her APP Social Studies class for being one of two students to earn above a 98.5% for the year. Yay!

And if you can't tell, that's a ping pong ball in a water-filled jar.

20-StagePrincipal
The principal talks.

23-BoredStudents
The crowd intently listens.

27-ChristinaAudrey
Christina reads a friend's name.

33-ChristinaCertificate
Christina graciously posing for a picture when she'd rather be celebrating with her friends.

She's been partying at various friends' houses for two days straight. . .

Business Trip

One day this week, I flew to Spokane and back in one afternoon. Fun, eh?

At least I got window seats.

1-RainierAdams
Mt. Rainier with Mt. Adams in the background

2-ChesterMorseLake
Chester Morse Lake

4-MosesLake
Moses Lake

5-WrightsHill
Wrights Hill, just outside of Spokane

8-MonteCristoPeak
Monte Cristo Peak, Columbia Glacier, and half of Blanca Lake

11-ElliottBay
Elliott Bay, Seattle

I posted a few more photos on flickr. Have a look, if you can find them. Ha ha!

Friday, June 22, 2007

1000+

Over on flickr, I now have two photos with over 1,000 views.

Which do you prefer?

NudeBeach

62-PaleOrange

. . . A week ago, my favorite picture of Chunlin (below) was third on my most-viewed list. Now it's down to #34. )-:
14c-KeroseneChunlinSwimsuit

Honeymoon Weather

Long-range forecast for the first day of our honeymoon:

Scattered Thunderstorms, 86°F, 60% chance of precipitation.

Maybe I should take my brolly!

Wedding Weather

Long-range forecast for the big day:

Mostly Sunny, 67°F, 20% chance of precipitation.

Not bad at all.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Rice lost.

Boo!

Happy Solstice!

At 11:07 a.m. PDT (or so) this morning, the sun shall hit a point directly above the Tropic of Cancer, thus marking the beginning of the northern summer. Yay!

0b-CampanulaClose
Some campanulas from our front yard, moved a couple months ago from my parents' yard.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

College World Series

Rice is playing North Carolina this afternoon. Go Owls!!

Three days ago, Rice easily handled the Tar Heels, 14-4, so they should have no problem today.

In today's late game, Oregon State is playing the California-Irvine Anteaters. Go Beavers!

The Anteaters are the only team from OSU's bracket of four that they haven't played yet, but they seem evenly matched with Arizona State, who the Beavers beat 12-6 on Monday.

Let's go, Rice! Yay! Go team! Yee-ha! Woo-hoo!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

License Plate Words

I just installed my new license plates. Can you guess what three-letter word the state issued me?

Seven Years!

Today marks the seventh anniversary of my employment at my current company. I've just been too lazy to leave.... But really, it's good here. I get to do something I'm good at, and they compensate me fairly. And the commute's less than ten minutes!

On a semi-related note, have you seen the movie The Seven Year Itch? It's a Marilyn Monroe comedy. I'm sure you've seen the promo picture. Even if you don't think you have, you have.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Ring Update, etc.

Without my wedding band, my hand looks familiar, yet odd. I quickly put it back on, without spinning it on my desk or anything.

Also, for fun, you can go to flickr.com and search for fremontparade or solsticeparade to count how many of my photos appear in the first page. Sometimes it's zero, sometimes it's five, or anywhere in between, taken from a total of seven I count. I wonder how their computer program decides which ones to show.

In any case, here they are, my top-seven most-relevant photos, per Flickr, when judged as "fremont parade" or "solstice parade":

53-RedMask
69-BannerCarrierRight
71-CarrierRightClose
73-CarrierLeftCloser
86-BlueBlockHolders
120-Sister
131-MoreBellyDancers

A Heartwarming Story

This was emailed to me by Chandira, who got it from some French guy, who got it from . . .

In 1986, Mkele Mbembe was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern University.

On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so Mbembe approached it very carefully.

He got down on one knee and inspected the elephant's foot and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it. As carefully and as gently as he could, Mbembe worked the wood out with his hunting knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot.

The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments. Mbembe stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled. Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away.

Mbembe never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.

Twenty years later, Mbembe was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teen-aged son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Mbembe and his son Tapu were standing. The large bull elephant stared at Mbembe, lifted its front foot off the ground, then put it down. The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man.

Remembering the encounter in 1987, Mbembe couldn't help wondering if this was the same elephant. Mbembe summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder.

The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Mbembe's legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.

Probably wasn't the same elephant.

Rice Advances Again!

Yesterday's news, I know, but I was too busy having a Fathers Day dinner with my family to check the scores online. Well, actually, my father heard the news on the radio, so I guess we just had it on the wrong station on the drive to Red Robin. . .

The Owls beat North Carolina 14 to 4. Ha!

Tomorrow, UNC will play Louisville for the chance to play Rice again on Wednesday. Rice gets to rest till then. Since the Owls already beat the Cardinals and the Tar Heels, we can hope that they'll be able to do it again, either way.

Go Owls!!

... Over in the west bracket, Arizona State and Oregon State advanced, beating Cal State Fullerton and Cal Irvine. That bracket is a day behind in the schedule, so those teams are playing today. Go Beavers!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Fathers Day, Dad!

72-CarrierLeftClose
We went to the Fremont Solstice Parade yesterday. This girl was one of the banner carriers at the start of the parade. Many more photos of the parade (and some art cars) at flickr, and some people even kept their clothes on...

Happy Fathers Day!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Rice Wins!

It's only the first round, I know, but yay!

They were down 10-4 in the fifth against Louisville, but a six-run eighth put them way over the top, 15-10, final score. Singles and doubles and errors and the flood doesn't stop, mwa ha ha!

Next opponent: North Carolina on Sunday.

Cal Yente

Mr. Yente is the archnemesis of none other than Al Gore.

Fairly obvious, now that I think about it.

Grab Your Sledgehammer!

It's too bad I'll be on my honeymoon when this happens, because I'd have a lot of fun:

NH Hoteles says it will allow 30 people chosen by a team of psychologists to help demolish the interior of the 11-year-old NH Alcala hotel in central Madrid as part of its refurbishment.

The hotel chain says the chosen 30, armed with a mallet and hard hat, can destroy any part of the 146-room building, from bringing down walls to smashing windows.

The demolition will take place on July 3.
Oh, the destruction I'd wreak, the enjoyment I'd gain. . .

Basic Equation

waste of time = waste of energy = waste of money = waste of resources = bad for the economy = bad for the environment = recycling

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Happy Flag Day!

Unfold that flag of yours and get it flying high! Today is Flag Day!



Now salute and say with me:

I pledge allegience
To the flag
Of the United States of America
And to the republic
For which it stands
One nation under God
Indivisible
With liberty and justice for all

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Go Rice!

On Friday, the Rice University baseball team will play their first game of the 2007 College World Series. Their opponent is upstart Louisville, who likely wouldn't be in the tournament if they had stayed in the C-USA and had to play Rice during the regular season.

And so, without further ado:

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sunday Walk

Sunday evening, we took a short drive over to Richmond Beach to watch the sunset. A few too many clouds in the way, but don't fret -- plenty of rocks got thrown into the Sound.

9-PugetSoundReflection

5-RichmondBeach

12-CloudsChunlinChristina

17-SunsetUFO

22-DuskMarkChunlin

Several more photos on flickr.