Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

We just watched the New Year's celebration on Chinese television, straight from Guangzhou. A fifth of the world is already in next year!

I hope you have a good one!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I Hope You Had a Merry Christmas

Christmas Eve, we drove down to my parents' house. We passed downtown as the sun set.

1 - Space Needle Sun

Christina drove, so I took some photos.

6 - Mt Rainier I-5

The tree wasn't quite completely decorated, so we helped.

12 - Christina Garland

And then we had cake. It was two days before Christina's birthday, after all.

20 - Birthday Candles

Christmas morning dawned foggy and frosty.

22 - Frosty Christmas Morning

Cookies were eaten.

27 - Dad Cookie

Gifts were opened.

36 - Amy's Winged Whale

42 - Mom Bag

'Twas a jolly time for all!

39 - Chunlin Ribbon

41 - Chunlin Laugh

Then we took a break for afternoon breakfast.

46 - Bacon

Afterwards, Mom's sister and family arrived.

51 - Carol Kelly

We had a gift exchange which somehow resulted in Dad opening half the presents.

53 - Dad's Pan

Next came dinner, followed by dessert. During which, Amy committed food abuse. Oh, the horror!

60 - Cherry Pie Disaster

I made sure to document it, of course.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Happy New Year!

The Year of the Eagle has ended and thus begins the Year of the Orca! Happy New Year!

Today is also the Holy Day of Kérasa, for every New Year's Day is Her holy day.

May She bring peace and fertility to you in the coming year. May She make the universe a better place through you.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I'm Almost Done Wrapping Gifts. . .

And now for the annual photo of our tiny, artificial tree and a huge pile of Christmas presents around it.

Almost Done Wrapping

We put the tree on a table this year so we could see it better. It's harder to stack gifts nearby, though.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Solar System on I-90

After reading that eastern Maine has the solar system modeled to scale along US Route 1, with 1 mile covering 1 astronomical unit (the distance from the earth to the sun) (scale 1:93,000,000), and that Sweden has the largest solar system model (scale 1:20,000,000), I figured that something bigger and better needed to be built, with the sun in Seattle, naturally.

From the length of Interstate 90 from Seattle to Boston (approximately 3,000 miles), I decided that a good scale for the model would be 1:1,860,000, or 50 miles per 1 astronomical unit. Here's a summary of how it would look:

Sun -- centered at Space Needle, 2400' diameter
Mercury -- Issaquah or Preston (20 miles), 9' diameter
Venus -- east end of North Bend (35 miles), 21' diameter
Earth -- Snoqualmie Pass (50 miles), 22' diameter (with Moon, 6' diameter @ 600')
Mars -- Easton or Cle Elum (75 miles), 12' diameter
Ceres -- Vantage (135 miles), 10" diameter
Jupiter -- Cheney or Spokane (260 miles), 250' diameter
Saturn -- Missoula (475 miles), 200' diameter
Uranus -- Buffalo, Wyo. (980 miles), 90' diameter
Neptune -- Mitchell or Sioux Falls, S.D. (1500 miles), 87' diameter
Pluto -- Mitchell, S.D. to Eire, Pa. (average Chicago, 2000 miles), 24" diameter
Eris -- Chicago to the middle of the Atlantic (average Boston, 3000 miles), 27" diameter
Sedna -- south of Nova Scotia to over twice around the earth (average Seattle), 30" diameter

The circumference of the sun could be painted on the pavement in the Seattle Center (or built with cobble stones or another different paving type), with a model of Sedna in the Pacific Science Center.

A model of Mercury could be in a park or shopping mall area in the Issaquah area.

Venus could be near the truck stop at exit 34 east of North Bend.

Earth could be in the parking lot beside the Travelers Rest at Snoqualmie Pass, with the Moon near the hotel. When standing by the model of the Earth, the Moon model should look the same size as the real Moon in the sky.

Mars would be at the property of whoever in the Easton or Cle Elum area wants a minor tourist attraction.

Ceres could go in one of the parks or a restaurant in the Vantage area, with possibly some other asteroids nearby.

Jupiter would be painted or paved similar to the Sun, at Eastern Washington University, Gonzaga University, or Riverfront Park in Spokane, unless students at one of the schools decided they wanted to build a huge sphere.

Saturn would either be marked with paving stones around the Grizzly Statue at the center of the University of Montana, or perhaps on the grassy hillside above the campus near the giant M, so it's visible from all over town. I can envision the rings protruding from the hillside as a pedestrian walkway.

Uranus would be constructed wherever in northeastern Wyoming someone will take it.

Neptune would go at one of the small universities in Sioux Falls, or perhaps right next to the Corn Palace in Mitchell. Wouldn't that be nice?

Pluto would go at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, or one of the other museums or universities in Chicago, or perhaps the University of Wisconsin in Madison or Notre Dame or Toledo or . . . whoever takes it.

Eris would be located at the Boston Children's Museum or the Harvard Museum of Natural History or some such.

Each location would have a sign (or maybe multiple signs around the Sun) that describes the whole project and shows where all the planets are.

In summary: wouldn't that be cool?

UPDATE: If none of the museums, universities, or parks near I-90 in the midwest want Pluto, there's always Pluto's Beef and Hot Dogs in Oak Lawn, just west of Chicago!

Friday, December 11, 2009


My apple tastes like blackberries.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

One Night in Canada

A week and a half ago, after driving the length of US 97 in Washington, Chunlin and I spent the night in Osoyoos, British Columbia.

Here's the view from our hotel room -- top floor of the Holiday Inn.
25 - Osoyoos

The sun sets pretty darn early this time of year, but we did manage to take a walk before it got too dark.
27 - Osoyoos Walkway Chunlin

28 - Osoyoos Lake Gazeebo

Osoyoos Lake is one-third in Washington and two-thirds in Canada, but it has a couple peninsulas that nearly extend all the way across the lake. Thus it appears smaller than it is, when you're on the shore. Our hotel was on one of the peninsulas, as is the distant row of trees in the photo above.

29 - Osoyoos Lake Beach

33 - Osoyoos Clock
I have to use my flash and it's what time?

34 - Osoyoos Fountain

Maybe this will give you a clearer sense of where Osoyoos is in Canada.
37 - Osoyoos Signpost North
Or you could use a map. . .

There's more photos from that four-day trip on flickr, and I still have a few more to go through.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

a little poem

The sun has ris'
The sun has set
And here I is
Still sitting in my office

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Blue Sky on the Rain Goddess' Day!

Hívuítoví seems to be taking Her holy day off from Her work . . . thankfully.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Giant Flock of Crows Attacks Northgate!

Nuvíní must be nearby. Her crows are swarming the neighborhood. . .