Archive for October, 2007

Whatever It Takes!

When I was first asked to be a groomsman in Stacy’s wedding I marveled at how I would do “whatever it takes” to fulfill my duties.  Of course, I was thinking about the actual act of dressing and my scenarios involved changing in front of Kipp… or in a portapotty.  It may not be what I imagined, but last weekend I got to put my claim to the test.

While I was in Seattle, I received word that the dresses were in and that we needed to report to the dress shop for our fitting.  And while I was in Canada, I started to do the math and I realized with the two week lead time on alterations, I needed to go ASAP.  Unfortunately, I was working in Canada until Thursday and flying all day Friday.  And so, my “Whatever it Takes” turned out to be manifested by a travel frenzy!

Leg #1 Thursday: Katie and I worked all day at the copper mine and then drove 5 hours to Seattle, arriving at 11 PM PCT. 

Leg #2 Friday: Flew from Seattle to Chicago and then Chicago to Greensboro, North Carolina.  Arrived at Greensboro at 9 PM EST.

Leg #3 Friday/Saturday: Drove 5 hours from Greensboro, North Carolina to my parents’ home in Occoquan, Virginia.  Arrival Time: 3 AM EST! 

Phew!  From Logan Lake, BC to Seattle, WA to Chicago, IL to Greensboro, NC to Occoquan, VA

Over 3400 miles later, I made my weary way to the dress shop, where another challenge awaited me.  I was promptly asked to put on the shoes I would be wearing to the wedding.

“Huh?” I said and looked down at my work shoes that were still covered in white dust from the mine. 

I had no wedding shoes with me.  I didn’t think to pack any for Seattle.  Rollerblades, yes.  Wedding shoes, no.

Luckily, my bridesmaid, Jenn was there!  She just so happens to sport the same shoe size as I (bet that doesn’t happen often between a groomsman and a bridesmaid) and she just so happened to have some shoes I could borrow for the fitting.  

Jenn didn’t seem at all deterred that the moisture from my feet would now mingle with hers.  Perhaps for Jenn, “Whatever It Takes” describes her wedding attitude as well.  🙂

October 31, 2007 at 11:16 pm 12 comments

Lovely Logan Lake!

My co-worker, Katie and I were working on-site at a copper mine located in Logan Lake, British Columbia.  When Katie and I crossed the Canadian border, we were asked the purpose of our visit and our destination.  We mentioned Logan Lake and the guard cracked a smile.

“There is a whole lot of nothing in Logan Lake,” he said.

Well, there may not be a whole lot of commerce in Logan Lake: 

What does it mean when your Chamber of Commerce is smaller than your pick-up truck?

BUT, there is a WHOLE lot of beauty and then some!  Katie and I had no problem entertaining ourselves with on a gorgeous nature trail around the lake.  And our last day– it snowed!  Anyway, some pictures from our stay in the small town: 

Welcome to Logan Lake!  I’m the little human in the blue shirt.

Beautiful reflections off 97C

Brush in the lake (and some ducks too)

Mallard in Logan Lake

Sticks in Logan Lake

Trees at Logan Lake

Dusk at Logan Lake

Despite the skepticism of Canadian Border Control and the workers at the mine (most felt we should have stayed in the city 50 minutes away), Katie and I found our stay in Logan Lake peaceful and fulfilling. 

More pictures of lovely, lovely Logan Lake are up on my Flickr site.

October 28, 2007 at 11:23 pm 6 comments

Rollerblading – State #19

Circa 1999, I called out a particular inept Microsoft Support Technician and criticized his approach to troubleshooting a customer’s server.  Basically, he sent the customer a new DLL to install and once that update paralized their machine THEN he decided to ask what OS version they were using.  After our altercation, someone from Microsoft left me a stern voicemail and told me that they were “appalled” at my tone and that they would be contacting my manager.  That call never came and as far as I know Microsoft and I are back on professional terms.  If there is still bad blood between me and the corporate giant, at least they did not block me from rollerblading in their hometown! 

Rollerblading State #19 was secured on the beautiful Sammamish River Trail in Redmond, Washington.  The weekend rain stopped just in time for a morning skate before my travels took me to Canada. 

View from one of the bridges along the trail

View from Sammamish River Trail

It was one of the few skates where I had company (Delaware and Colorado are the other two)!  A high-school classmate of mine, Alex, rode his trike and my brand new co-worker, Katie, walked on foot. 

My companions, Alex and Katie

As if the surrounding scenery was not enough to look at, local artwork accompanies the trail.  Most of it is very interesting.  But, it’s safe to say Alex is not a fan of the “Bluebird” piece.

“It is the single stupidest thing I have ever seen.”

To put his statement in perspective– I went to high school with Alex.  I can attest he’s seen some pretty stupid things in his day (some performed by ME).  And yet, this item stands out. 

The single stupidest thing Alex has ever seen

A sculpture Alex did not declare as stupid (and one of my favorites to boot).

What lucky state will get the honor to be my 20th?  Signs point to either Mississippi or Indiana.  Both loom as possible trips for November!

Until then, enjoy more photos of Rollerblading State #19 on my Flickr account.

October 28, 2007 at 10:47 pm 4 comments

Twin Falls

On Saturday, I got to do my first hike in the Pacific Northwest!  And to make the experience official, we made the journey in the area’s famous rainy weather. 

We went to Twin Falls which is about 30 minutes from Seattle.  The hike was modest– a three mile round trip and a 500 foot elevation gain.  The scenery was just gorgeous.  I could be a bit biased– my favorite color is green and the hike provided a lot of it.  I was particularly taken with all the moss and ferns coating the trees.  Add that to beautiful waterfalls, mist and great company– the journey was enchanting.

And GeekHiker– I think I saw one of those nurse trees you spoke of! 

Moss and ferns coat the trunk of a tree

The falls from the observation deck

Evergreen ridgelines, some fog and a tree with moss.  Lots of GREEN!

Ferns and moss cover tree branches

A seasonal leaf caught in some mossy branches

More pictures from our Twin Falls Hike and my visit to Seattle can be found on my Flickr site.

October 22, 2007 at 12:27 am 8 comments

Gogol Bordello in Blacksburg

First off, greetings from Bellevue, Washington!  I’m on another trip.  This explains why I didn’t enthusiatically report about the Gogol Bordello concert earlier– the very next day I was flying out to the great Pacific Northwest.  Anyway, it is very simple to sum up the concert:


And a couple of little tidbits.

Gogol Bordello is Harder to Photograph Than Babies
Aaron Evans is a talented photographer.  I already knew that and his Flickr photos provide plenty of proof.  But now I have another reminder of Aaron’s photographing prowess.  His Gogol Bordello pictures are far superior to mine.  Even though I specifically staked out a railing to keep my camera steady, those dang musicians moved around so much, most of my shots were still blurry.  Anyway, not since little baby Ali, have I had such trouble getting the shot I wanted.
That blur on the far left is supposed to be Eugene Hutz
Here is Eugene Hutz when he is actually still

Commanding Violinist
For those of you not familiar with the band, two prominent instruments are the accordian and the violin.  Everything about the band is energizing, but it was the violinist,  Sergey Ryabtsev, who really commanded the crowd.  With each song, the crowd was always in motion.  And when the violin started– that’s when the frenzied jumping would begin.  A Russian immigrant and his violin– not what you would expect to drive this demographic of concert-goers insane.  Sergey’s power does come with a cost.  That poor bow of his got more and more tattered with each song.

Gogol Bordello is Better Than Hawaii
My brother, Jay, works on a cruise ship in Hawaii.  So he spends months at a time circulating the Hawaiin islands and he seems to take a lot of joy in taunting me via cell phone by sending along weather updates and pictures of beautiful mountains.  Well finally, the tables are turned!!!  I sent him a picture from the concert and my brother sent back a brief reply:

“im jealous”

Ha, ha!  Someone in Hawaii is jealous of *ME*. 

Ass Cracks Welcome
I wore low-rider jeans that night.  The times I went into the crowd my wardrobe choice was troublesome.  With all the jumping and dancing and escalating energy, I often felt my pants starting to slide down.  So in the vicinity of moshers, I had to allocate one of my key defense resources to reach back and yank my pants back into place.

“This is the last time I’m wearing these jeans to a concert,” I thought.

And then I noticed Eugene Hutz.  His pants posed a similiar predictament and his butt crack was readily visible.

“Oh,” I realized, “It’s socially acceptable!”

And that was the last time I worried about that!

October 21, 2007 at 11:58 pm 2 comments

links for 2007-10-18

October 18, 2007 at 2:24 pm 2 comments

links for 2007-10-17

Some of my favorites:

October 17, 2007 at 2:21 pm Leave a comment

links for 2007-10-16

October 16, 2007 at 2:22 pm 1 comment

Prejudice Doesn’t Pay

The last two evenings have closed with me watching the famed Leeroy Jenkins battle on YouTube and laughing.  Before yesterday, I didn’t even know who Leeroy Jenkins was. 

How did I miss such an old and wide-spread Internet phenomenon?  Prejudice!  I’m biased against video games, thanks to their habit of sucking entire days of my life away.  It’s been almost a decade, but I still feel the sting with how fleeting my reign on the Wetrix Top Ten Board was in our apartment.  I spent days taking the entire list over.  Ryan Schutt eradicated me within a few hours and didn’t even break a sweat.  That memory of my own futility was so persistant that even when Discover Magazine pointed out the benefits of video games, my stereotypes stood firm.

And so, I’m certain when Leeroy Jenkins first found his way to me, I took one look at all those players strategizing, rolled my eyes and thought, “What the hell is this crap?!?” before closing the window.

And look at what laughter my bigoted ways deprived me.

At least I have chicken.

October 15, 2007 at 11:33 pm 9 comments


On Thursday, I have tickets to go to see Gogol Bordello at Blacksburg’s reinnovated Lyric Theatre!  My brother gave me their Gypsy Punks – Underdog World Strike CD at Bethany Beach in August.  Since then I’ve become a little obsessed with the music.  It’s been in my XTerra almost continuously.  I made sure to rent “Everything is Illuminated” to see Eugene Hutz and the Super Taranta! CD is my current programming soundtrack. 

There are four days between me and the live performance, so here are four songs I’m looking forward to seeing (accompanied by the “best” sound-quality YouTube link I could find so you could at least hear what I’m talking about).

4. Start Wearing Purple (Gypsy Punks – Underdog World Strike)
How can you not enjoy the energy of this song?!?  I’m also quite fond of the long violin note after the second verse.

This is the band’s video for Start Wearing Purple

3. American Wedding (Super Taranta!)
The very first grown up wedding I went to, I was psyched.  “I’m going to eat steak and dance!” I told my co-workers.  I showed up and the wedding was not what I expected.  The reception was in the basement of a church.  It had no dancing or fine dining.  Instead it offered card tables, potato chips and Pepsi.  So I can empathize with one being surprised at marital traditions.

Have you ever been to American wedding?
Where is the vodka, where’s marinated herring?
Where is the supply that gonna last three days?
Where is the band that like Fanfare.
Gonna keep it goin’ 24 hours

Footage of a live performance from Toronto

2.  Tribal Connection (Super Taranta!)
Well, I of course love the refrain “No Can Do This, No Can Do That, What the Hell Can You Do, My Friend?”.  It’s so much fun to sing.  But it is a line near the end of the song that really seals the deal for me. 

We’re gonna turn frustration into inspiration

It makes me think of Alfred Hitchcock and the stem cell researchers.

This is a neat slideshow of pictures of the band

1. Illumination (Gypsy Punks – Underdog World Strike)
I love absolutely everything about this song.  The intro makes me think of Flight of the Conchords.  I love when he’s singing about a different culture, he goes from “It’s them who do not think the same” to “It’s them who do not think.”  How often has the same leap been made by one society towards another?  I love the chorus:

But we who see our destiny
In sound of this same old punk song
Let rest originality for sake of passing it around

It makes me think of the repetitiveness of oral traditions

And I adore the line, “You are the only light there is, for yourself my friend.”  It hits home because I think there are too many people out there who point externally for the causes of their unhappinesses and failures, when all along the obstacles are within themselves.

An Iraq war slideshow to the song

Anyway, I fully expect this week’s concert to be a blast!  Not much longer to wait now!

October 14, 2007 at 8:45 pm 6 comments

Older Posts

Flickr Photos

3D Printed Products