May 31, 2005

Star Wars With Parents

Filed under: General — mmrobins @ 9:17 pm

We went with my parents to see the new Star Wars movie before they headed back home. It was even fun to watch the second time, unlike the last few they came out with. After the movie my parents left and Kim and I went back to Folk Life to meet Kim’s friend Amanda. Then we came home and were exhausted. Vacation soooooooon!

May 30, 2005

Ski To Sea

Filed under: General — mmrobins @ 9:54 pm

Waking up at 4 AM sucks. Just ask Kim. I got to go back to bed! Kim, Rachel, Dylan and Todd took my forester up the mountain for the first few legs of ski to sea. Laura, Kaia and I went back to sleep. I dropped Laura and Kaia off at the canoe point and drove Rachel’s car to where I would spend a LONG time waiting to mountain bike. My parents showed up and we went to hang out near the river where the canoers would be coming in. They cheered for all the teams running up the hill carrying their canoes. Coincidentally, we ended up meeting Aspen, a guy who says he is dating Laura. Laura denies it, but she denies ever dating any guy really.

Kim did downhill on a snowboard, Rachel x-country ski, Todd road bike and poor Dylan ran 9 miles downhill and got heat stroke. My whole team showed up at the mountain bike site before Kaia and Laura did in the canoe. They had a pretty slow time, but thankfully they made it so that I had enough time to go without being disqualified. I think I did pretty well on my mountain bike leg. It was about half on the road so it wasn’t really much of a mountain bike course. The hardest part was a 10 minute run through a sandy beach. I handed off to Steven, a guy I had never met, and he took off to kayak.

We all waited at the end where Laura’s parents showed up. Steven ran up and rang a bell to end the race. Our total time was somewhere above 6 hours while the first place team was under 3. Crazy people.

A bunch of us went out to dinner for some really good Italian food at D’Anna’s in Bellingham, and afterwards Dylan got Kim and I some free ice cream at the shop next door. We said out goodbyes to our team, especially Laura who is moving to the east coast to work on a ship for a few months.

May 29, 2005

Kim’s Parents Leave – More Folk Life

Filed under: General — mmrobins @ 8:14 pm

Kim’s parents left early Saturday morning and my parents, Kim and I spent the day at Folk Life. I got my mom to go contra dancing, and we saw women’s barbershop, sea shanties and Spoonman playing with a group singing Manu Chao songs. Good times. And… we got a new room mate! Her name is Violet and she seems really nice. Jacob will be interested to know that she has a Trogdor bumber sticker. I’m glad a girl will be moving in for some balance to the house. She’ll be moving in tomorrow while we’re at ski to sea, speaking of which, Kim and I are leaving for it right now.

May 27, 2005

Parents Meet

Filed under: General — mmrobins @ 1:05 am

My parents got into town late last night and this morning they met Kim’s parents. We had a nice breakfast and then went to the zoo. Kim and my zoo membership expires at the end of this month, so it’s our last free visit. There was a member’s only showing of the new interactive bird exhibit. It’s mostly parakeets, but it’s fun because they give you a stick with feed on it that the birds fly to and eat off of. We saw the penguins feeding on live fish which was really cool, my highlight. After a few more exhibits Kim and I had to go to work so we left our parents together to fend for themselves for the rest of the day. We left them hoping they wouldn’t get lost on the buses, but it sounds like they did great finding their way around.

Dennis and I planned to upgrade our active directory to Windows 2003, but things didn’t go well, as with most Microsoft upgrades. We didn’t even get to the upgrade part. We reboot our server before the upgrade and our DNS service went down and wouldn’t come back up. We spent a few hours on the phone with some guy from India, but by the time I left it still wasn’t fixed. Hopefully it won’t be too much work this weekend.

From there I met up with the parents and Kim at Folk Life, the best festival in Seattle. They had all been there for a little while before me and were eating when I arrived. We saw some great music and had lots of fun. Kim and I tried to get everyone contra dancing at the end of the evening, but no go. Kim and I had lots of fun though. Contra dancing is like square dancing but you move in lines and change partners a lot. It’s pretty easy, involves lots of spinning, and most everyone who does it a lot is really helpful and nice.

Kim and I are both happy that our parents’ meeting went so well and that it happened before the wedding. One less stress to deal with at the wedding. Which we will start planning soon…

May 26, 2005

Fare Start And Biking To Work

Filed under: General — mmrobins @ 9:57 pm

I’ve begun biking the 8-9 miles to work a couple days a week. It feels great, at least on the way there. I can get to work in a little over a half hour since it’s mostly downhill. The way back takes a bit longer going uphill. I got a tuneup for my mountain bike and put some non knobby tires on it. I had some trouble with the front derailleur, but I stopped by Gregg’s cycle on the way to work this morning and they fixed in less than 5 minutes for free. Great store even if a tad pricey. I was considering getting a commuter bike, but bikes are expensive and mine works fine. I figure I’ll run it until it starts falling apart before I get another bike.

Tonight Kim and her parents and I went to dinner at Fare Start, a non-profit that trains homeless for jobs in the food industry. We had some good coupons from the Chinook book too. It was a three course meal that had smaller than average portions but excellent food. I’m glad the portions were small because otherwise I would have been stuffed. Plus I was riding my bike home from there in the unusually warm 85 degree heat.

My parents arrive late this evening, so Kim’s and my parents will meet. Tomorrow we’re going to the zoo and checking out folk life.

May 25, 2005

Web Independence

Filed under: Technology — mmrobins @ 5:52 pm

Communication on the internet is getting more interesting every day. I’m sure a lot of you have noticed that I’ve started using flickr for sharing photos, and yahoo recently acquired flickr. I’m excited to see how yahoo integrates flickr into their services, especially since I’ve been using yahoo mail for a long time. Just recently I’ve been using yahoo music engine, and I’ve been waiting to see yahoo’s new blog, 360. I was looking forward to centralizing most of my web communication in yahoo until I read this article about independence and privacy on the web. I’ve always liked the free web services out there like yahoo mail, blogger, friendster, myspace, etc, but now with so much free open source software out there, I feel like I shouldn’t tie myself to any one web service. I want to just get my own domain and host everything there: my blog, my photos, contacts, my calendar, IM lists. Problem with that is TIME! Who has the time for such things? If I had time to do all that I wanted creating my own web space wouldn’t even be one of the top three things. I guess the whole point of all this is that I’m hoping someone will create an open, all encompassing, flexible web place much like flickr but for everything. There’s plenty of open source projects out there trying to do something like this, but none of them seem nearly mature enough yet. The money just doesn’t seem to be in open source yet. Blah, okay, like I have time for this rant even.

May 24, 2005

Rainy Vancouver Weekend

Filed under: General — mmrobins @ 12:00 am

Kim, her parents (Ron and Joan), and I all went up to Vancouver for the weekend. Kim’s parents had a couple free nights at the Marriott hotel so we stayed there. The hotel was nice, but it’s a little far from where the action is downtown.

As soon as we arrived we went looking for food in Chinatown. Chinatown was a tad disappointing to all with its rundown, closed businesses and large vagrant population. We spent the next few days mostly seeing the parks and gardens of the city. We took the seabus across to North Vancouver to see the Lynn Canyon suspension bridge. It was pretty with nature trails, but Joan is afraid of heights and didn’t go over the bridge. She got about 1/4 of the way across and turned around. Good effort though.

After some Persian food for lunch we headed to the south part of the city to see the Elizabeth Gardens. There were a lot of weddings going on there despite the grey skies and showers. There was a conservatory with birds and tropical plants. There was a salmon colored conure named Charlie who liked to scream really loudly and then tell you “I’m Charlie!”. Quite the character.

Kim and I headed down to the strip on Granville to check out the bars and people. We found a seat in a fun Irish pub and had a few drinks then headed back for sleep. We were too tired to stay out too late since we had been walking and site seeing all day.

Sunday we saw another garden, the Van Dusen botanical gardens. Kim and her parents are big plant aficionados. They even know what almost everything growing in out yard is. I can name the edible stuff… Most of it. Anyway, the highlight of the garden was the hedge maze, at least for me.

Then we booked it out of the city to wait an hour at the border to get back in to our amazingly secure US of A. I feel SO much safer.

May 19, 2005

Kim’s Parents Visit

Filed under: General — mmrobins @ 9:55 pm

Ron and Joan, Kim’s parents, have arrived in Seattle. They’re here just in time for the weird stormy weather with thunder and lightning and rainbows. So far they’ve been visiting Seattle’s parks while Kim and I have been busy working. Kim and her mom went to get stylish haircuts this morning. Tomorrow we’re leaving for Vancouver for the weekend.

May 16, 2005

Job Stuff

Filed under: General — mmrobins @ 6:13 pm

I’ve been interviewing for some new positions the last few weeks, but I was happy to receive a better offer from my current employer today. I’m really happy that I’ll be able to stay where I am because I like the people and the company. My manager/coworker is a really cool guy and we get along really well. I was a little hesitant to shake up a good thing and go somewhere else. I think I’m going to take some of the money from the raise and buy a good road bike to start biking to work!

May 15, 2005

Busy Weekend

Filed under: Culture,General — mmrobins @ 5:01 pm

A little of everything seemed to take place this weekend. Kim babysat on Friday night for some rich people on Queen Anne. Bridgid moved on Saturday morning after a hectic week of buying a car and getting ready to start her job on the peninsula. We took her out to happy hour at the pink door downtown on Thursday and Brian came too. While Bridgid was moving out Kim was checking out culinary schools since she’s considering going back to school to study cooking.

It was Laura’s birthday and she came down from Bellingham, and after a little sitting around the house waiting for people to call use back and tell us what they were doing, we just took off for downtown to go to the cheese festival at Pike Place. There were a ton of cheese samples. Kim met us down there, but as usual, the parking was horrendous and we only stayed for a little while. Then April met all of us and we took off to go climbing at exit 38.

April had never climbed before and Laura has only climbed a little bit, but they both did really well. I was really excited and impressed that Kim led the first few climbs of the day with no fear. She kicked butt. I led the last climb of the day, a slightly wet 5.9.

Kim and I had plans to go to a modern dance show, so we dropped Laura and April off, got some food from Thai Tom’s and hurriedly got ready to go to the show. The show was called Relatively Real, and the dancing was amazing, but I definitely didn’t ‘get’ it. The dancing just looked cool, but I didn’t see how it tied in with the themes that were presented during interludes to the dancing.

After the dance show Kim and I stopped by Jesse’s to see how the Risk game was going. Jesse was the first one to be knocked out. When we left Travis was fighting to survive, Jacob was only doing slightly better, and Deborah and Waleska were duking it out for world domination.

Today was thankfully less eventful. Kim went to get her bridesmaid dress hemmed by Waleska’s mom, and I washed windows and did yard work. A house is quite a bit of work, but so far the novelty hasn’t worn off so I don’t mind yet. When Kim got back we went to Brook’s first birthday party. Brook is the little girl that Kim nanny’s for. I’m constantly amazed that human beings can survive as well as we do considering how helpless babies are for the first MANY years of their lives.

Now we just got word that the person we thought was going to be moving in is flaking out on us, so we’re back to the drawing board for finding a roommate. Oh well, with both sets of parents visiting in the next week it will probably prove to be better to have the room open.