January 29, 2006

Yoga and Vegetarianism

Filed under: General — mmrobins @ 5:10 pm

The Vegetarians of Washington, which Kim and I are members of, sponsor free classes that include yoga, nutrition and cooking. The class we went to today was at Whole Life Yoga in Greenwood.

The yoga section was a really good class. Kim even liked it and she’s kinda picky about what yoga classes she likes. The nutrition section was all about how a vegetarian lifestyle is healthier. It was very informative, but I knew most of the stuff already. There’s a good general overview of the basics of why to go vegetarian on many websites, but this little lecture had a lot of citations of medical studies that were fun to see. The cooking demo didn’t happen because some of food was forgotten, but that was okay because I was ready to go and we got tofutti chocolate as a consolation gift.

Kim and I are planning on going to Veg Fest this year to help out and give Kim a chance to meet some good vegetarian chefs – and to eat a lot of really good food of course.

Pizza Party

Filed under: General — mmrobins @ 4:58 pm

Kim and I went with her friend Jessie to a pizza party with a bunch of people who work with Jessie at the Student Conservation Association. Sarah and Chris hosted the gathering and it was a ton of fun. It’s really nice to hang out with young, educated, passionate and environmentally minded people. It makes me more optimistic about the future of our world, although it also makes me sad to realize that it’s really a very small microcosm of our society.

We ate really good food including pizza that we helped make. There was no meat in site and I think almost everything was organic. I really liked the green olives stuffed with whole cloves of garlic. Between those and the pizza toppings, I ate a lot of garlic.

Once a bunch of people left it was down to just the hosts and Kim, Jessie and me. We were told to bring games and now it was a manageable enough number to play settlers of catan. Yes, again. That game is too much fun.

January 23, 2006

Seahawks Win!

Filed under: General — mmrobins @ 9:34 pm

Gabe and I went over to Armin’s to watch the NFC championship game of the Seahawks against the Carolina Panthers. I’ve come to expect Seattle teams to disappoint me in the playoffs after amazing regular seasons as the Sonics and Mariners have done so often lately. However, this game was Seattle dominated the whole time. There were 8 or 9 people yelling and screaming with every Seahawk touchdown or interception, so there was a lot of yelling. Armin’s mom cooked food for halftime too, so it really couldn’t have been much better a game.

After the game Gabe and I went running and we probably heard 25 people yelling “go seahawks” or honking their horns wildly. Seattle will erupt if we win the Superbowl, at least as much as a city in the middle of what feels like the longest gloomy spell ever can erupt out of their seasonal affective disorder, zombie-like state.

Settlers of Catan

Filed under: General — mmrobins @ 9:27 pm

This game is too much fun. I’ve played Risk with friends before and thought it was fun, but mostly because it was an excuse to hang out with friends, drink and shout, but that’s about the extent of board games that I’ve played in a long time. Settlers of Catan is just plain addicting. I think it’s a lot like Civilization IV on a board, made for multiplayer.

It involves building settlements, collecting resources, and trading. In Risk when an opponent screws you over with attacks and lucky dice rolls all you can do is call them names. In this game you don’t attack opponents, but there’s all sorts of more satisfying and subtle ways to compete, and dice rolls can benefit multiple people at a time. What really makes board games fun is the social aspect, and this game has all sorts of ways to interact: trading, blocking routes with roads, blocking resource production, stealing resources, and competing for longest road or largest army.

Normally I’m not a big fan or randomness in games because it leaves little room for skill, but in this game the randomness makes it more interesting by forcing you plan a strategy based around what is most likely to happen. It’s not just hoping that the dice roll the highest number, because sometimes you want a low number, or a low probability number to pay off since high probability numbers pay for just about everyone.

Now the only problem is finding people to play when I want to which is all the time lately. I just found out that there’s an online version (although it’s run by MSN and only works with Internet Explorer), but I don’t think it will be nearly as fun without friends nearby to share it with.

Brian’s Birthday

January 21st, 2006
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January 15, 2006

Hiking Near Quilcene

Filed under: General — mmrobins @ 8:46 pm

Kim and I needed to wear the dog out so we decided to go snowshoeing. Your options are severly limited when hiking with a dog. We found a trail in a book that would work, but it was only at 800 ft so would almost certainly have no snow. We stopped by the ranger station near Quilcene and got a recommendation for hiking Mt Zion. We decided to hike a nearby trail but couldn’t get past a pickup that got stuck and blocked the road. We had some good snow though so we started hiking up. Still not enough snow for snowshoes. It was fun to get out in the snow, but it was too foggy for views. The dog Gretchan seems to love the snow.

On the way back from the hike we stopped in a bar to catch the end of the Seahawks game. Playoff victory!

Puppy Sitting

January 15th, 2006
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January 12, 2006

I’m Lost for Lost

Filed under: General — mmrobins @ 2:09 pm

I have a confession: I’m addicted to this frickin Lost show.  I got one disc from Netflix to see what all the fuss was about, and next thing you know I’ve bought the first season and am downloading the second off Itunes.  In a way it’s a great show with all it’s mystery and character building, and in a way it hate it for always leaving me with more questions and wanting more.  I haven’t had a show that I really looked forward to watching every week since I was in junior high.  I wish I had gotten into it a little later so that a few more seasons were already out on DVD and I didn’t have to wait.

January 8, 2006

Hiking Stevens Pass

Filed under: General — mmrobins @ 7:11 pm

Kim and I took off with Preston and his friend Chris Saturday morning to do some snowshoeing. Preston and Chris just bought snowshoes, but we were a little worried that we wouldn’t find a place to use them since snow has been so hard to find lately. We initially wanted to do a route near Skykomish, but there didn’t seem to be any snow below 4000 ft so we kept going to Steven’s Pass were it was just barely cold enough for snow. Kim and I had already done a lot of snowshoeing on the north side of the highway, so we found a route in the book that went straight through the ski resort. It followed the Pacific Crest Trail, but it’s covered in the winter and passes through a lot of the ski runs so it’s hard to find.

We ended up hiking too far east and didn’t go the route described. We got to the top of a chairlift thinking that it was the one we wanted, but it turned out to be a different one that went to the top of the double black diamond runs. Thanks to Chris and Kim’s perseverance (aka stubborness), we decided to keep going up the very steep slope. After a LOT of hard work, we made it to the top and took some pictures of the nice view and the sunshine. We sat down to eat and enjoy the view and saw a huge wall of fog coming. Next thing you knew we were in the middle of a cloud and it had started snowing.

When we got back I was wiped out and Kim and I decided not to go out and play poker with Preston and Chris. I’m glad I didn’t, because I slept 10 hours and think I could have easily done more.

January 6, 2006

Card Night

Filed under: General — mmrobins @ 11:30 pm

Last minute Friday I decided to see if anyone wanted to play cards. Brian and Bridgid were the only ones who showed up, so with Kim and I we had just enough people to play pinochle or Eukre. We started trying to play pinochle, but soon found out that Brian had different rules as I’m sure most people do with this game. There’s a lot of variations. We were going to try playing a couple different ways, but ended up settling on eukre instead. After a couple games of that Jacob sat down to play so we did five person hearts. We all had a blast playing, and people got a little rowdy but all in a good natured way. Kim really likes rowdy card play, so I think we might be having more card nights soon.