Monday, March 31, 2008

The Roof Opens!

Mojo Risin'


View from where we sit...

...and this is the first time I've been here with the roof shut!

I like this stadium...

... They've got relish!

(Unlike Yankee Stadium...)

On Our Way to Opening Day!


Sunday, March 30, 2008

WTF??? Snow on the Cherry Blossoms???

This post could also be titled: March -- In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lion!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Forest Flowers

Also while we were hunting for Spooky Forest at Timberlake Park, I spotted this little gang of flowers. :)
UPDATE: I learned today (March 30) from Kenji's mom that these are Trillium flowers, and they are illegal to pick in the State of Washington (and in some other states as well). I didn't pick them, or step on them. I only took pictures.

Lemonade, Zen Fruit, a Spooky Forest and a Big Ride

Today is our first real day of vacation. Yesterday only sorta counts because it was a travel day. Plus before we flew away I still did my rounds of delivering books to old folks for the library.

Anyway on our first real vacation day we got out our letterboxing stuff and went to Robinswood Park in Bellevue and found Lemonade and Zen Fruit. They were cute stamps and the clues straightforward.

After we did a little bit of shopping at Bellevue Square Mall, we decided to find Spooky Forest at Timberlake Park. Unlike the previous two, the clues for this letterbox were written in a story-like manner, and not straightforward at all. Maybe Kenji and I are just not creative enough in our thinking to figure those clues out. We think we found the spot where the letterbox is supposed to be... but either that's not the hiding place or Spooky Forest has gone missing.

But our trip to Timberlake Park wasn't a total bust. It's definitely a cool little park to hike around in - lots of interesting lumpy, moss-covered trees to see, and there's a little man-made cave (which we believe to be a part of the Spooky Forest clues).

After we decided to give up on Spooky Forest, for no particular reason I decided to check around the bottom of another tree - like the cave, we think this tree was part of the clues, though not the actual hiding place. Around the back of the tree I found a little cubby hole, and sure enough when I looked inside I spotted a little package containing a stamp and a logbook. It wasn't until we were about to stamp our logbooks that I realized this was not Spooky Forest but a different letterbox - Big Ride - that we weren't even aware of. :)

UPDATE: I got a response to the message I sent to the keeper of the Spooky Forest letterbox. She says that the tree we thought was the hydra (the hiding spot of the letterbox) was not the hydra. So we were looking in the wrong spot.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tiffknee and the Gollywokus

Tiffknee is going to kitty-sit for us, so tonight we took her out to dinner... at Tiffknee's! (See Tiffknee posing with her paper napkin ring.) (BTW they spell their name wrong!)

After dinner we went to Tiffknee's apartment for yummy chocolate peanutbutter eggs that Tiffknee's mommy made. That's when Tiffknee taught us her family's word, gollywokus. Gollywokus is an adjective meaning askew. It may also be an adverb. But I'm not sure since so far I have heard the word spoken in context only once or twice.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Chairs that match!

And the other thing we did today was go get some dining room chairs.

Yesterday we stopped to Pier 1 Imports to look for something else. Then we saw they had these chairs on clearance for $88 apiece, which is pretty inexpensive for relatively nice chairs. Anyway we went back there this evening to pick up four chairs. But when we went to check out we found out they were actually marked down to $59. So for less than $30 more than we originally planned on spending, we got six chairs instead of four. :)

Oh, and we fit ALL SIX in the Fit. Ha!

It only took like four years

Since we got married, we've had this 16" x 20" photo from our wedding just hanging out in the plastic sleeve it came. And probably for about the same amount of time we've had this mango wood frame with.

While Kenji was burying the Direct TV cable and putting together the chiminea in the backyard, I finally figured how to matte this photo so that it would fit with this frame.

Burning Sticks

Yep so we have all kinds of sticks that fell all over our yard during the winter. A couple weeks ago we piled them all up against the fence behind the garage. We thought we might have to haul all the yard waste to the dump or something, but then one of Kenji's co-workers suggested we get a chiminea and burn it in the backyard. So last night we went to Home Depot and got this one and Kenji put it together today, and we burned a nice little pile of sticks. We got plenty more to burn but we can do that some other time.

It was fun and it smelled like when we used to have bonfires in the late winter/early spring in the woods in back of my mommy and daddy's house. :)

Ohyeah, you might notice that Kenji has his finger in a splint. For some reason he likes to fall going up the stairs and this time his pinky bonked into the wall and now it's all bruised. Yesterday it was all swollen up looking like a little black and blue snowman!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I don't want to be a network administrator!

Today was a really not-fun day at work. For the last week and a half we've been having serious issues with the network, including losing wireless access for people using laptops, certain people's sudden inability to print, extreme sluggishness when accessing files on the server and also with our accounting system. That last one is the most problematic because without that system, we can process orders, create invoices or pay bills.

By Friday last week the IT consultant we work with had the wireless connectivity up and running again, but the accounting system was still sluggish, but at least it was usable. On Tuesday of this week, I had a network guru friend of mine come in to look at our network and make some recommendations for improvement. She also tried changing one or two things to see if she could improve the performance of the accounting system software. Wednesday everyone was happy because MAS500 was working like a dream - perhaps even slightly faster than it had before our problems began last week.But today was the worst. Things started off okay... well MAS500 was slow again, but not as slow as it had been last week.

But as the day progressed, it got slower and quirkier. Users were getting all kinds of error messages, they kept getting booted out of the system, or they had problems logging back in. And today I got to be the one people looked to for help - and since network administration really isn't in my skill set - I really had very little to offer. So I did what I could - gathered as much information as I could when errors came up and reported them to our MAS500 consultant, tried some suggestions from our regular IT consultant, made a date with Embarq to come check out our modem (since it has an amber light where it is supposed to be green), and told people they gotta cut down on the size of their email inboxes.

So I definitely feel for the other people who have had to play default network administrator person even though, like me, that's not in their skill set. Even if it those skills were in my skill set, I'm pretty sure I still would not want to be a network administrator. I miss Steven!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

No Belkin Money for Us...

On Friday I received this letter from the Belkin Settlement people:

We have received your Refund Notice along with the documentation that you recently submitted for the Shannahoff v. Belkin, Case No. CV 06-1474-GPS settlement. Based on the documentation provided to the Settlement Administrator, it has been determined your claim is invalid due to the following reason:

The purchase of your Belkin product was after the March 31, 2006 deadline. In the process of obtaining court approval of the Settlement Agreement, it was determined that product packaging for Belkin Wireless Products sold after March 31, 2006 did not contain the allegedly false or misleading statements as claimed by the plaintiff. Therefore, persons who purchased a Belkin Wireless Product after March 31, 2006 are not entitled to receive a refund or promotional discount.


Sunday, March 09, 2008

Banana Burger!

After bowling we planned to go to Van Gogh's Ear for dinner, but it turns out they were closed for a private party. So instead we went a few doors down the street to a little Brazillian cafe called Banana Burger.

Yes, they have a burger with bananas on it, and that's the one I had. If you look closely, you can see the bananas underneath the lettuce. There were also potato sticks and corn on this burger. It was quite yummy. And by the time we were finished with burgers, the party at Van Gogh's Ear was over and we went there for dessert. The End.

Lefty Strike!

Yep, we went bowling again today. I made my goal of 100 during our first game, so during the second game I decided I would bowl lefty for the entire game.

During my second frame as a lefty, I bowled a strike! I didn't bowl a strike the whole time in the first game when I was bowling right-handed so go figure. The following frame I bowled two gutter balls, but the computer gave me a pin anyway... I figure it was extra credit for bowling with my wrong hand.

No soup for you!

Tiffknee's birthday is next week so last night we went out to dinner at Spanish Tavern with her and her folks and some of their friends. It was quite yummy, but the best part was when the power went out, and we had to eat our soup by backup lighting. Well, the rest of us had soup, just not Tiffknee. I don't know what Tiffknee has against soup, but whatever it is she obviously insulted the soup gods because they turned out the lights on us!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Turkey Pesto Pizza

Ok, this pizza is rather un-crazy compared to the last two. It has basil pesto, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and ground turkey on a whole wheat crust. The turkey pizza I really want to make would be one that is Thanksgiving-style, with stuffing, cranberry sauce, potatoes and maybe even some gravy. But I want to make the cranberry sauce myself, and whole cranberries are not as easy to find now that the holidays are over.

I was chatting on IRC a bit earlier with some folks, and a chat friend from Brazil said they have a pizzeria down there that has chocolate pizza on their menu. Mmmmm, it looks good! I also found a recipe for chocolate pizza that maybe someday I will try.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Telemarketing Shrink Dream

It seems like I dream sometime just before 5am, or at least that seems to be the time when I become aware that I've just had a dream and can recall it in my slowly waking state. So anyway here's my dream from last night - or rather - early this morning, as I wrote it down in my little writing book.

We were looking 4 a doctor to treat something - maybe PTSD. We got an unsolicited call from one, but Kenji was in the bathroom. I almost hung up on the guy, but took his phone number instead.

Then Kenji came out of the bathroom and we told him to call the guy. So I called him and got the doctor's wife on the phone. She said it was late, and the doctor was not accepting calls anymore. I said the doc had just called us like ten minutes earlier. She reluctantly put her hubby on the phone. He didn't sound like he wanted to talk. I said just give my hubby a few minutes - that he (Kenji) just wanted to ask a few questions so he could see if he wanted to call him (the doctor) again another day. The doc agreed and I put Kenji on the phone.

Kenji was taking a while to say something, and I think it was because he was trying to put the call on speaker-phone. I said don't worry about speaker phone. But Kenji never got to ask the guy anything before the guy either hung up or the call got dropped.
It's hard to write in the dark when you are mostly asleep. Anyway in the dream I think we were at my parents' house, sitting in their kitchen when we were trying to make the phone call. Kind of a boring dream if you ask me. I like dreams where there's more stuff going on.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Crazy Purple Pizza!

Sorry I forgot to take a picture of the pizza before we cut into it. It was half gone before I remembered to grab my camera.

The crust on this pizza came out waaaayyyy better than on my last pizza. I used this recipe. I like it because it has honey in it. Here's the recipe I used on Wednesday.

Tonight's pizza featured the following toppings:

  • mozzarella cheese
  • little tomatoes
  • almonds
  • raisins
  • snap peas
  • Peruvian purple potatoes
  • garlic, olive oil & salt
  • little bit of paprika & parsley flakes

Little Hike at Eagle Rock

This morning I went for a little hike with Jason and another chick whose name I can't remember. Kenji was going to come hike too, but he had to hang around the house and wait for the Direct TV guy to come over and stick a satellite dish on our garage and put some cables in our house.

This time we hiked at Eagle Rock Reservation in West Orange. I didn't bother to take a picture of the NYC skyline this time because I put that in a different post already. So instead here's a little stone bridge we walked across. I tried to get Tiffknee to go hike with us but she wasn't having any of it. The End.

Big Bird

Here's another bit of a dream remnant from earlier this week. I was driving somewhere in sunny Arizona through some small town, when I drove past a giant bird walking down the street in the opposite direction. The bird was as tall as a human, had giant eyes the size of the palm of your hand. Its feathers were dark gray and the irises were orange.

I continued driving and saw some other odd creature walking along the road. That's when I decided to take pictures of these creatures with my phone. I took a picture of the second creature, then put the car in reverse to try to find the big bird. I stepped too hard on the gas and backed up too fast and went too far. I didn't hit anything or anyone. I did find the bird, but I think I had some kind of difficulty taking a picture of it for some reason.

Alligator Hunt

For the past week or so I've been having all sorts of dreams while sleeping at night. I guess that's not unusual but it feels unusual for me because for many years I feel like I haven't remembered or even been conscious of any dreams I've had while sleeping.

I used to like recording my dreams when I was in high school, but somewhere along the way I guess I had better things to do and I got out of the habit. Anyway I always thought dreams were rather entertaining, so I've missed having them (or more likely, just being aware of them). Therefore I decided that I'm going to try to record my dreams again.

Last night was the first time I tried writing them down. I put a little blank book and a pen next to the bed, and scribbled what I could remember of my dream in that in the dark. My handwriting is barely legible and my writing was rather "downhill" looking. I really didn't remember too much of it, but here are the remnants I did recall (verbatim from my little writing book).

Tonight's dream was about alligators. Big ones. There was a dirt road. It was night. We were trying to find our way to the main road. Then it was day. That's when we were looking for alligators. Then Kenji and I were out for a walk on this dirt road. We stopped for something. Then we - Then he asked me where we were going to go next. I said we would walk down the dirt road more, till we got to a roadside snack bar and could have lunch, so we could walk more. He was disappointed. I wanted to do more walking.

And that's about it. Not very interesting. I know we saw some alligators in the dream. One was pretty big. Others we just heard about and were trying to find. Oh the reason Kenji was disappointed was because I was going to make us walk more and he doesn't like to walk.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Mind your children or they will be given espresso and a free puppy

That was on a sign at Van Gogh's Ear Café. I wrote about that place before. Anyway that's where we went for this week's installment of the search for the perfect dessert (which was preceded by bowling and meat on a stick).

This is Kenji pondering over what to have. He decided on some chocolate coffee drink with the word lust in the name, but he can't remember what it was called. I didn't take a picture of it because a drink in a mug looks pretty much the same as any other drink in a mug.

I was torn between getting the peanut butter mousse pie and the chocolate saucy cake. So Tiffknee helped me out and got the peanut butter mousse pie so I got the chocolate saucy cake and we got to try each other's dessert. I think Tiffknee really liked her dessert.

Here's my chocolate saucy cake. It was saucy. And chocolatey. And wayyy yummy. As you can see, this time I remembered to take pictures of our desserts before they were half eaten. I would have taken action shots of them being eaten, except the lighting in Van Gogh's Ear is a bit dim.

Overall, Van Gogh's Ear beats out Baumgart's by a long shot. Better desserts, better ambiance. The only thing Baumgart's did better was their whipped cream was homemade. Don't get me wrong - Baumgart's was good... it's just that Van Gogh's was better.