November 28, 2004

Snow Shoeing Tonga Ridge

Filed under: General — mmrobins @ 7:13 pm

Today Brian, Brigid, Kim and I went snow shoeing at Tonga Ridge in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Fresh snow had just fallen and we were all eager to get out and enjoy it. This was really the first time that I’ve had a chance to take my Subaru Forester on some fun roads. We drove all the way to the trail head even though there was a lot of snow and nobody else was going up that high. We got within 100 yards of the trailhead and I managed to get into a ditch and get it stuck. Some other snow shoers helped us push it out. All in all, I was very impressed with how it handled in the snow, but next time I need to have some chains and a snow shovel.

The hike went up through some trees and then followed a ridgeline with some really nice views. After hiking in for about a half hour we had to break trail since nobody else had gone farther. Kim and Brigid both had new snow shoes, so it was good that we had a chance to use them in some fresh snow, even though Brigid didn’t like her new shoes. The views were terrific and it was a gorgeous sunny day. Brian kept running down steep slopes and then regretting it while Kim kicked little snowballs down the slope. We would have liked to go longer, but we had to turn around so that we could get back to the car before it was dark. We saw some nice skylines as the sun was setting. I ended up stuck behind a long line of Jeeps that were loaded with Christmas trees and driving really slowly. Actually, there was a group of Jeeps and all of them drove slowly and didn’t go anywhere cool all day. One funny thing is that someone said they saw a Hummer get stuck and a Jeep had to pull it out. We were all pretty tired after driving back.

November 27, 2004

Thanksgiving 2004

Filed under: General — @ 1:56 am

We stayed with Kim’s Grandma Josephine Arszyla and her Aunt Mary Anne and her cousin CJ for Thanksgiving. As soon as we got there it was time for Kim’s grandma’s favorite game, Skip-bo. Kim won pretty much every game, something she attributes to skill, although I disagree.

Abbie, Kim’s NRME friend from college, and her boyfriend Adam stopped by that night to visit and we went to El Sombrero for dinner. There was live mariachi music which was fun, but once they started repeating songs it got a little old. We all caught up over dinner and had a lovely time.

The next day we picked up CJ from school, and Kim got a chance to keep up her image as the cool cousin. Afterwards we went to pick up our vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner and drove around sightseeing Connecticut.

Later that day the other Abbey (notice the different spelling, at least it think they’re spelled differently) picked us up and we went to see Chris and Megan’s new condo. They completely remodeled it and it looks really, really good.

The next day was Thanksgiving and Mary Anne finally got to stay home. We ate a LOT and then we went out to rake the yard just for some exercise. It was a nice day out so it was fun just to rake leaves. We walked around the neighborhood and the woods. Lots of Kim’s family, great aunts and distant cousins, have houses just down the street from her Grandma.

Finally, it was time for us to go back home. We flew back the day after Thanksgiving because that was the cheapest time. It was nice to have a weekend at home before going back to work too.

November 23, 2004

Vacation In New England

Filed under: General — @ 1:56 am

Kim and I flew back to Connecticut for a week vacation and Thanksgiving. Kim’s friend Effie Tomasio picked us up at the airport in Hartford. We spent the day visiting Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts, a village made up to look like they used to in the 1700′s. Effie is planning to have her wedding there in June so we wanted to see the facilities and just do something fun. After we spent a few hours wandering around the village we went back to the house where Effie and her fiance Jack Cahill are living in Southington. Abbey Assunto, Mike Zanetti and Lindsey Matteo both stopped by to visit and tell us all the Southington happenings, and Effie made us fajitas.

Over the next few days we saw a lot of people that Kim has missed. Dan came up from New York to have dinner with us at a Chinese restaurant and hang out. . We’re trying to get him to come visit us in Seattle because we think he’d like it a lot.

The next night we went to Steve’s apartment and he and Roslyn cooked us, Jack and Effie, and Megan and Chris dinner at Steve’s apartment. The food was great and after we all ate Chris started a drinking game. The game was each person mixes a drink out of the assortment of alcohol available, and then everyone drinks it. People came up with some surprisingly good drinks considering most of it was totally random concoctions. Kim’s drink was voted best drink of the evening though, but I already can’t remember what she put in it.

Effie and Jack both had to go back to work on Monday, so Kim and I went to visit Darleen, the manager at the soup kitchen where Kim used to volunteer. We went to help out, but there were already more than enough people to help serve and everything. Darleen told us about how great it is to be the ‘cool’ grandma.

One of my favorite parts of the vacation was that we slept in every day. I think we got between 9 and 11 hours of sleep a night and it felt wonderful. Part of it was that was that we were going to bed at a normal hour Eastern time and waking up at a normal hour Pacific time.

Jack and Effie left for Florida on Wednesday so we went to Kim’s grandma’s house to spend some time with family for Thanksgiving. Kim and I walked to her Grandma’s along the old railroad tracks that have been converted into a walking trail.

November 14, 2004

Housework Day

Filed under: General — @ 9:40 pm

Brigid has already started moving some of her stuff in and she officially moves in the 16th, so we’re getting her room ready by painting it and taking out some of the kid things. The room has stickers and little kid stuff attached to the walls, so we’re removing it all and painting. One of the shelves had a stripped screw and I managed to put a hole in wall while removing it, which means that I got to learn to patch drywall! It was easier than I thought it would be. We recently learned that it’s good to have an accent wall when you’re painting a room, so you paint one wall a different color to accent the room. I’m not totally sure why, but it does kinda look nice. We had some paint left over from the previous owners that we used so all we had to do was buy some paint brushes and rollers.

After I unscrewed the shelves and blinds, Kim and Brigid did most all the painting which left me free to work on building the compost pile in the back yard. I cleared out a section behind our fence under the really big bushes. I setup some free wood pallets, strapped them together with big cable ties, and added some hinges for a door. All our yard waste is composting wonderfully. If you stick your hand in the pile it’s really warm. This will be great for our garden next spring.

November 13, 2004

The Waifs And Erin McKeown

Filed under: General — @ 1:13 am

Last night Kim and I went to see a show at the Crocodile Cafe. One of Kim’s favorite artists, Erin McKeown, was playing. I’ve seen her before at the Folk Life Festival in New York, but I liked her more this time. Her set was way too short though. She was playing when we got there and only did a few songs. They were good though, just a girl and her guitar. It was way too crowded too. I really don’t like going to see music in bars because most people are there to drink and not listen to the music. There’s always a lot of people talking, smoking, wandering around, and distracting from the music.

The other band was the Waifs and they were fun too. They were kind of country sounding from Australia. The two singers are sisters and look very much alike. They also play guitars and the harmonica, and then there’s the rest of the band playing drums, guitar and base.

After a while we were tired of standing and being around way too many people all jostling for a better spot, so Kim bought Erin McKeown’s new CD and then we took the bus home.

November 12, 2004

Working In Sun Valley

Filed under: General — @ 1:11 am

I’ve been trying to setup an IP phone at one of the owner’s houses in Idaho since I started working at Krekow Jennings. He has been avoiding doing it until recently, and in the process of trying to walk him through the setup over the phone, the whole house network went down. Time to fly me to Idaho!

Now I know what you’re thinking, whoop-de-do, Idaho, but I found out that the Sun Valley area isn’t your normal Idaho. This is a community for the rich in the famous. It’s got all the amenities of living in nature (ski resorts, hiking, mountain biking, privacy) with culture (private schools, theater, live music, mansions). I may want to live there once I’m rich and famous.

I did have to work for a while, but the rest of the time was like being on vacation. Karl and Kathleen were very hospitable and cooked nice meals for me. They were constantly busy, running errands, making phone calls and taking care of their kids, but in between all this we had some nice conversations.

I had to spend the night since there’s only one flight back to Seattle everyday, and I had my own guest house to retire to at the end of the night. They had 800 channels of TV but I couldn’t find Comedy Central so I gave up on TV and read before bed. The next day was beautifully sunny and we went on a hike near the Ernest Hemmingway memorial.

I slept on the flight back and got back to Seattle just in time to go home for the weekend. I can definitely handle occasional travel for work, but I think consistent travel would be exhausting and frustrating. It’s always nice to mix things up and not be at a desk all day though.

November 9, 2004

Fare Thee Well Gabe Jones

Filed under: General — @ 9:30 pm

Gabe has finally moved out of the HFS world so a going away party was necessary. Armin sent out an email and some HFSers and former HFSers met at the College in for a few drinks. Jayson, Armin, Sue, Christie, Ramel and I all showed up. We swapped HFS gossip, had a few beers, ate some nachos, and then I had to go to meet a potential room mate. Of course, the guy showed up more than an hour after he said he would, and then he wasn’t interested in the room. People are really good at wasting other people’s time. Kim and I went to Jim’s real estate class since he’d doing it for free and Kim hasn’t been. We got there an hour into the class and Jim was dressed in overalls pretending to be the maintenance guy. After intermission he came in wearing a suit pretending that he was late and that the maintenence guy had taught the first half of the class. Quite the character that Jim.

November 8, 2004

Mom Visits

Filed under: General — @ 1:50 pm

While my Dad is off in Kenya building wells and hippo fences, my mom decided to come for a visit and see our new house. Kim and I went to see the Incredibles Friday night with Brigid and Gabe, and it was a great movie! I want to see it again. I love Pixar’s movies.

My mom arrived Saturday and we first bought a lawnmower, and then went to the EMP (Experience Music Project). As usual, we spent most of our time in the interactive room with all the instruments. We wandered around the exhibits for awhile and then went to dinner. We ate at Julia’s on Capitol Hill since we had a Chinook book coupon. The food was pretty good and they had live Jazz singing. Kim requested some Ella Fitzgerald songs which the wonderful singer was happy to do.

Sunday morning we all spent a few hours doing yard work. We raked the leaves that fall off of our fruit trees and cut the grass. The lawnmower that we got is a non motorized, push, reel mower, and the grass was really long so it was hard work. After yard work we went to the zoo. The zoo is always a fun time. We saw most of the African animals and ended up in the bat house at closing time. I joked with my mom that she probably saw more animals than my dad did these past few weeks.

After the zoo we came back to the house to relax in front of the fire. Mom spent another night, but I had to get up in the morning and go to work so we said quick goodbyes and she drove home in the morning.

November 2, 2004

Election Night Party

Filed under: General — @ 11:05 pm

We came together to witness democracy in action. We started hopeful and quickly became depressed. At least we had beer and candy. Thao and her boyfriend Thai (sp?) showed up with a friend of theirs who was pro-Bush. His argument was that he worked in the medical instruments industry and that Bush was a lot better for the industry. Interesting. Things look bad for Kerry. Four more years of terror. People need to learn. That won’t happen until we find alternate sources of information. Read my political site. Watch the Daily Show. Do something besides listen to the corporate owned nightly news. Please.

November 1, 2004


Filed under: General — @ 10:04 pm

I guess this is the first holiday in our new house. Deborah, Jesse, Travis and Brian all came over Halloween night to hang out and hand out candy to trick-or-treaters. Now that we have a house, we thought we might get kids in costumes at our door asking for candy, but none came. We set a pumpkin out and had the lights on and everything, but this just must not be a neighborhood for trick-or-treating. Apparently the mall is the new popular place to trick-or-treat because it’s safe. Lame.

Since no trick-or-treaters came to our door, Brian, Travis and I had to go trick-or-treating. Brian was a big pink bunny, Travis was the candy burglar, and I mostly just wore my Bush mask. Some Democrats wouldn’t give candy to Bush. Poor Bush. We scored a lot of candy since it was late and people were just giving it away at that point.

To finish Halloween, we watched Donnie Darko. Then we tried to figure out what the hell it was about. Let me know if you think you know.