Sunday, December 30, 2007

Homegrown Pumpkin

Two months after I cut it from the vine, our biggest garden squash is finally ready for eating! Orange all around. When I brought it in, it was all green, but it wasn't ripening outside due to the cold temperatures.

So finally, the fruit of our "labor" is at hand.

Baked, boiled, and fried, it tastes like pumpkin.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Happy New Year!


Happy New Year and a grand Holy Day of Kérasa to you!

All hail the Eldest, She Who Walks upon the Sea, the High Goddess of Water! All hail the greatest god of Them all, the One Who is so great that She begins the year all over again!

Kérasa is so cool. I would never say anything bad about Her. Never.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

New Camera!

From my office window:
Construction Workers
Can you see who's smoking? No? Well, let me crop the photo for you:
Construction Workers Crop

And here's one of our cat:
And a crop of the cat's gray hair:
Cat Crop

Third Night

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
Three French hens
Two turtledoves
And a partridge in a pear tree


Is the third day of Christmas today or tomorrow? The first *night* of Christmas is December 25 and the twelfth *morning* of Christmas is January 6 (while the twelfth *night* is January 5), but what about the time between morning and night? Which way does it go? Since right now is still morning, does that mean that I should be celebrating only the *second* day of Christmas?

Oh, but I'm looking forward to my three chickens this evening, is all. Here comes third night!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

White Christmas!

It snowed on Christmas! Such a rare occurance for the Seattle area. 'Tis!

It even stuck on the ground in north Seattle and points northward. For a while, at least.

But here's the snow at my parents' house, where it didn't really stick, except in slush form:

You see, a photo just wouldn't show the snow...

Huh. YouTube has a real reduction in video quality. For shame.

What I Did Christmas Day

Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Christmas Eve!

Are you working today? I am. Well, not right this minute. But I should be. So, bye.

Okay, I'm home now. The task currently before me is to pack the car with all our presents and still leave room for two passengers and our personal effects.

Christmas Eve 2007
(And once again, the tree is too small. Even worse this year, actually!)

It only took an hour and a half to load the car! Yay! . . . And there's still room for Christina in the back seat. I only hope she doesn't want to bring much of anything else. . .

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Singalong Time!

I love you, Chunlin
You are my queen
Do you know what I mean?
I love you, Chunlin

Monday, December 17, 2007

My Favorite Things with a generic European accent

Rrraindrrrops on rrroses ahnd veeskerrrs on keettens
Brrright copperrr kettles ahnd varrrm voolen meettens
Brrrown paperrr packages tied up veet strrreengs
Deez arrre a fieu of my fahvorrreet teengs

Crrream-colorrred ponies ahnd crrreesp ahpple strrrudels
Doorrrbells ahnd sleighbells ahnd schnitzel vit noodles
Vild geese daht fly vith da moon on deirrr veengs
Deez arrre a fieu of my fahvorrreet teengs

Geerrrls een vite drrresses vit bleu sahteen sahshes
Snowflahkes daht stay on my nose ahnd eyelahshes
Seelverrr-vite vinterrr daht melts eento sprrreeng
Deez arrre a fieu of my fahvorrreet teengs

Ven da dog bites
Ven da bee steengs
Ven I'm feeling sahd
I seemply rrrememberrr my fahvorrreet teengs
Ahnd den I don't feel . . . so bahd

The Three Stooges

Incredibly stupid, yet funny.

At the checkout line in Grocery Outlet, they had a rack of $1 dvds. I said, "Ooh, look! Three Stooges!" Chunlin said, "Who are the Three Stooges?" And I replied, "If you don't know about the Three Stooges, now I *really* want to get the dvd." I had to expose her to classic American culture, after all.

So we got it.

Well worth the one buck. Three short films of the Three Stooges doing what Three Stooges do.

One with Moe, Larry, and Curly. Two with Moe, Larry, and Shemp. Did you know that Moe, Curly, and Shemp were brothers?

Friday, December 14, 2007

Tax Foreclosure Auction

I went to the King County tax foreclosure auction today. Bought nothing. I did bid on one property, though, but was outbid past what we had decided was our limit.

Over the last few weeks, my list of potential properties has been whittled down as the owners paid off their back property taxes. It's been like watching a disaster movie. You never know which of these characters will be the next to die!

I had something like twenty properties (out of two hundred listed) that looked worth bidding on. And then Capitol Hill gets wiped out, and then Newcastle dies, and then Park Orchard and Pipe Lake and Des Moines! Oh, the carnage!

At the beginning of the last act of the movie (this morning), we have five characters left. Three quickly get slaughtered by some torrential flood (of last-minute payoffs): Broadview, Phinney Ridge, and Fauntleroy all go quick. And then there were two: Thorndyke and Skyway. And Skyway doesn't look too healthy.

In fact, maybe Skyway isn't good enough to bid on. Nope, too many problems and unanswered questions. So that just leaves Thorndyke, the first property of the auction.

Bidding starts low, at the $11,000 or so that the county is owed, but quickly jumps up to $75,000. In leaps of $5,000, the bidding progresses. At $130,000, it stalls. One of the two bidders has pulled out. I raise my hand and call out "135!" The other man bumps it up to 140, I take 145, he claims $150,000, which was our limit. I shake my head "no."

In the front row, Santa Claus bids $155,000. The man I'd been bidding against goes to $160,000. "Going once, going twice, . . . sold."

I stuck around for another hour or so, still thinking about bidding on the Skyway property. The guy who'd bought the Thorndyke house bid on some other land, too, so who knows how much he'd have been willing to go up on that one.

A couple people bid on anything cheap, even if it was useless. One woman paid $1,173 for a few square yards of beach in Ballard and then $1,202 for a 1,600-square-foot wedge in Lea Hill. There were no other bids on those. One man paid $1,600 for land completely submerged beneath Steel Lake, then $2,000 for a 14' by 2.1' rectangle (yes, I typed that correctly) in the middle of a block in Greenwood, and then $2,200 for another tiny strip of land near Seward Park. He had a wad of cash. He probably bought a few more parcels after I left.

What could these people possibly be thinking?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Yay! More Spokane!

I had another business trip to Spokane today. My tenth this year! What fun, what fun.

Before we left Seattle, we were warned that our plane might have to U-turn back to Sea-Tac because of "freezing fog" at the Spokane airport. Nevertheless, we landed just fine.

As we approached Spokane, the pilot leveled off just above the cloud layer, pulling up fairly hard -- it almost felt like he was trying to land atop the clouds. We then flew just above the cloudtops for several miles before he finally nosed the plane down and we descended through the thick mess.

At ground level, there was quarter-mile visibility and slushy ice on the runway.

Spokane had a high temperature below freezing today. I'm glad I didn't have to spend much time outside!

These were flights 33 and 34 of the year for me, altogether. I didn't quite keep up the pace from earlier in the year, not even for work-related flights. I had fourteen work flights in the first six months, but only ten in the second half of the year. Aw, shucks.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Twelve Twelve!

Twelve twelve!

Park Orchard Park

My 2008 Thomas Guide map shows Park Orchard Park as "Port Orchard Park." Mapquest, Google Maps, and Yahoo Maps don't show the park at all, but the Google Maps version used by Windemere shows the park as just "Orchard Park."

It really irks me when unknowledgeable people "correct" things they'd be better off not touching.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Amazing Race in Dubrovnik

Apparently (for I did not see the episode), the Amazing Race went to Dubrovnik last night. I've been there! It's too bad I missed it, because it's always fun to see places you know.

One of their tasks was to take a zipline from Fort Lawrence (Lovrgenac) over to the main city walls. Here's my photo of Fort Lovrgenac from the city:

The contestants also had to navigate on foot through the old town. Here's a photo of a typical street:
Dubrovnik alley

Or perhaps you need an aerial shot to figure your way?
I'm sure that helps...

The pit stop was up on the hill above town:
Gundulićeva Poljana
Apparently it was at a large cross, but I don't have any photos of that.

They should have made the contestants walk up the hill instead of take a taxi, don't you think?

Sunday, December 09, 2007


Why is our cat so deathly afraid of the vacuum cleaner?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Begins at Sundown

The sun's going down. Happy Hanukkah!

Monday, December 03, 2007


Where am I? Barrow?

Why hasn't the sun risen yet? It's after noon!

More Rain!

If you were wondering why it's raining today, it's because it's the Holy Day of Hívuítoví!

Rain, rain, rain, rain! Yay!

Vítí isn't supposed to come around till next month, so all the snow must go.


Sunday, December 02, 2007

Let It Rain!

Well, the weather outside is frightful
But the fire is so delightful
And it wouldn't cause us any pain
So let it rain, let it rain, let it rain!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Love and Snow

Today, one year ago, is the night I proposed to Chunlin.

I made a good decision!

... In other news, it snowed today. We have three inches at our house and it's still coming down. Monty says we'll get 1"-3" more. And rain tomorrow.

We went out to breakfast at the 5-Spot in Queen Anne. Busy restaurant, and deservedly so. Prompt service for how busy they were. Tasty food, too.

We walked across Queen Anne over to Kerry Park. Since I didn't reserve the park, it was cloudy. Still a good view. A lot colder than our wedding, though! The base of Mt. Rainier was clear, but not most of it.

So then we went to look at real estate. When we were in South Park, it started to snow. It wasn't sticking, though. When we were in Rainier View, it still wasn't sticking on the roads. When we were in Thorndyke, it started to stick on the pavement.

Heading back down the hill was a bit tricky. Our first choice was blocked by a bus. The driver didn't really want to go down that street. So we turned around and took a different road down... at about 15 mph. Turning corners was a bit tricky. Stay away from other cars. Don't trust those drivers! Back down to Interurban, and onto I-5.

You'd think the freeway would be clear of snow, but it was still quite slushy. Downtown had a backup, but we got home safe and sound eventually.

I-Pine Snow

F-Snow Trees

K-Home Snow

A few more photos on flickr...

And just for fun, here's one from yesterday at work:
E-Northgate Sunset