Saturday, January 29, 2005

Bald Eagle

I met with Francesca and Alexandra for a nice early season base building bike ride. We road along the Burke-Gilman trail, and on the way out, we saw some people staring at a tree by the side of the trail. It turns out they were looking at some bald eagles, so we stopped to look as well.

Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera. One eagle was sitting out on a branch, looking back and forth. The other was hidden by branches a bit, and I never really got a good look at it.

Last year while running at nearby Cougar Mountain, I saw a bald eagle fly overhead. I think today's spotting was the closest I've ever been to one!

Friday, January 28, 2005


Continuing the transportation theme... today I took my car, a 1996 Toyota Camry, in for its 105,000 mile service. The car is still running well, and I take it in to the dealer for all scheduled maintenance. I bought my car used (1 year old) and have been very happy with it. However, it is getting up there in age and mileage and soon the repairs might be more expensive, at which time I will think about getting a new car. Ideally, this won't happen for another two years or so.

I've thought a little bit about what my next vehicle will be. The current top choices are:

1) Toyota Prius. I'm fascinated with fuel efficiency and this hybrid is looking really good. Other more exotic choices would be bio-diesel or electric, but those aren't entirely practical. My only concern is cargo space to fit all my stuff!

2) Toyota RAV4. Maybe this isn't the best looking vehicle, but I've been so pleased with the reliability of my Camry I'd strongly consider this. I drive up to the mountains and sometimes having a 4 wheel drive would be nice. On the other hand, my friend Francesca has a Honda CR-V and that vehicle is a little larger, and gets slightly better reviews. Both should have enough room to store my gear.

3) Subaru Outback. I like the way these look and there are a zillion on the streets in the Seattle area. Plenty of room for gear and comes in 4 wheel drive models. I don't know anybody that actually owns one though.

Well, I have some time before I need to replace my car. Plenty of time to think about it. I'm not in a hurry - I paid my car off 3 years ago and I must say, not having a monthly payment is really nice.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005


Lately two friends at work have been talking about motorcycles during lunch. It is interesting to hear various stories, because they always center around speed. As in, XYZ motorcycle can do a quarter-mile in 8 seconds! Or maybe that is accelerate from 0 to 60 in 8 seconds, I'm not really sure.

One friend has a motorcycle and enjoys riding it, except it isn't working for some reason. The other friend doesn't own a motorcycle, but is considering getting one for a complicated vehicle swap: trade in his car for a cheaper car and a motorcycle. The impetus behind this is cost of insurance - adding his teenage daughter to the family vehicle insurance will nearly double the annual insurance cost (his car is a sporty Honda S2000 and his insurance company will automatically associate his daughter with the sports car and not the family minivan). A different car would lower the insurance substantially.

Anyway, while they talk about land speed records, my mind wanders to a different class of bike... the good old bicycle. On their bikes, accelerating from 70 mph to 130 mph is possible due to engine power; on my bikes, 24 mph is blazing fast. Their bikes are $15,000 to $25,000 or more for a high end bike; mine are $3000 to $4000 or more.

They always tease about letting me ride with them, but I'm not at all interested. The thing is, I don't really want to ride a motorcycle. One reason is just fear: I've had some flying rocks put nicks into my car windshield. What would the same rock do to a person on a motorcycle? Sure, you can wear a helmet and all that stuff, but hitting a rock at 60 mph is going to sting at best and really cause an injury at worst. The second reason is also fear: I always wear my seatbelt while driving, just in case I'm in an accident. What if I were on a motorcycle when I had that accident, the one I wear my seatbelt for when I'm driving a car?

Well, as you can probably tell, maybe I'm just not cut out for riding a motorcycle!


Representatives of the player's union and management met, to talk about the 2004-2005 NHL season. I'm not at all optimistic, but there is still a shred of hope as the NHL hasn't officially cancelled the season.

At this point, 2/3rds of the season is over, so even if the two sides reach an agreement and salvage a skeleton schedule, there would be maybe 25 games. If half are home and half are away, that means we would be looking at 10 or 12 home games to attend, which in turn results in about 3 games I'd get tickets for. Of course, having such a short season would make the playoffs a joke, but if they played and I could attend the games, I'd go.

My friends in the season ticket pool are voting on what to do with our money, which is held by the Canucks. If the season is officially cancelled, we can opt to leave the money there for next year, or get a refund. I voted for a refund, figuring I'd want to see what happens in the event of cancellation - many players may leave for leagues in Europe, diluting talent. Plus, there are things I could spend the money on now, instead of leaving it in some account that probably doesn't bear interest. ;)

Monday, January 24, 2005


I brought my parents along to watch my volleyball games - they haven't seen me play and thought it would be fun. My league plays at Ingraham High School, and after introducing them to the team, they wandered back and forth and watched us play from the sidelines.

Overall, we did mediocre - winning 2 games and losing 3. But it was fun and I think my parents even found it fun to watch. On the way back I wound explaining some of the rules and different varieties of volleyball games (indoor 6's, outdoor doubles, reverse 4's; side-out scoring versus rally scoring, and so forth).

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Vancouver Morning

It turns out Gail stayed up all night ripping her music to her PowerBook, in order to give me her CD's! This easily doubles my CD collection. I better hurry up and copy them over before she wants them back. ;)

While she was doing this, I found an article about a new industry: iPod Loading. Entrepeneurs have noticed people may be willing to pay for somebody else to rip their music! It was good timing as Gail was doing this very thing.

Gail's Balcony

The view of Beach Avenue and English Bay. Alas, no more free space to crash at in Vancouver!

Quick Vancouver Visit

Gail invited me up for the evening, and I wanted to go visit one last time before she moves to Pennsylvania. My parents are also in town, so there was a slight conflict, but they were OK with me leaving them overnight so I drove up after running a few errands with my folks.

I timed my visit well, as Vancouver is having a Dine Out event, where participating restaurants charge $25 for an appetizer, meal, and dessert. We were in the mood for Indian so I drove us over to Rubina, and we stuffed ourselves.

Later, we went to see Million Dollar Baby, starring Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, and Hilary Swank. I like the movie, even though a few scenes made me cringe - the plot centers around female boxing. I won't spoil the ending...

Friday, January 21, 2005

Houston Half-Marathon Post Race Stats

The Houston Marathon mailed me their post-race newsletter which had all sorts of interesting links. Talk about fancy, no other event I do has all this stuff.

For the stats junkies, check out graphic display (enter my last name), and it will show how I placed overall, within men, and within my division. On the next page is a cool "bird's eye" view of the finish line at the time of my finish, showing the distribution of other competitors. As you drag the mouse over, it shows names! Then, on the last page is an interesting map of the race, showing where I was when the overall male and female winners completed. Finally, you can enter the name of a friend and compare how you did versus them. Cool!

Spy Novel

I finished up The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, and it was excellent.

The basic plot follows Alec Leamas, who ran a group of agents in East Germany. When the last one is killed trying to escape, he is recalled to HQ, and to his surprise, is offered one last dangerous mission - fake his defection and plant a story that the East German head of counter-intelligence (Mundt) is a British spy. Thus, he would get revenge against Mundt as his own agency arrests and executes him.

So he goes about faking disillusionment - he pretends to steal money from his agency, he starts to drink a lot, and is finally let go, only to have a string of odd jobs. He pretends to be behind on bills and then finally gets in a fight with the grocer over credit and is sent to jail for three months. Upon his release, the East Germans make contact... and he agrees to defect.

From there, he spills a little info, just enough to be believable, but not enough to make it seem all planned. He claims there was a high level spy HQ was running, but he didn't know who it was. He just was the courier for cash deposits at various banks, which were timed to coincide with Mundt's travels. Everything goes well, until his story unravels just a bit...


As it turns out, Mundt is a British spy after all. Leamas is sent over with the intent that his initial story fails a close examination, so that Mundt can expose his deputy Fielder instead, and arrest him to save his own skin. Then, Mundt would help Leamas escape, and also implicate Fielder in the attempt.

Ealier in London, Leamas meets Liz at one of his odd jobs, and she is a member of the Communist Party. Their love affair is incidental, but her presence isn't - she is unknowingly part of the plot. The British send some agents to question her after Leamas vanishes, and they count on the fact the East Germans will bring her over to answer questions. When she says that some people showed up asking about Leamas, Mundt will use that to prove it was all an elaborate hoax meant to implicate him. So Alec and Liz just had to become friends for this to work.


But, Alec and Liz fall in love. After the trial, when Mundt exposes Leamas as a spy, he releases them from the camp and gives them a car. Alec and Liz drive off, needing to make East Berlin by a certain time - Mundt says he briefed one regiment of his border guards that there would be an infiltration attempt at precise hour. The two inflitrators will be a man and a women, they'll be at a certain spot, stand in the searchlight, and climb up a ladder over the wall. So the guards will let them over, thinking they are spies headed into the West.

Along the drive, Alec explains to Liz what happened, and privately he is worried that she knows too much already. After all, during the trial and subsequent escape attempt, she now knows Mundt is a British spy.

They arrive at the spot, make the proper signals, and climb the ladder. At the top, suddenly an alarm goes off and Liz is shot several times. Alec hears his associates on the other side, screaming for him to crawl forward and drop into the safety of West Berlin. But Leamas looks back and sees Liz dying on the east side, and he realizes that Mundt had her shot because she was a risk of exposing him. So he lets himself drop on the east side, and is shot alongside her.

Now, I think I can make another go of Life of Pi.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Snow Season?

This winter could be a really weak snow season. It didn't snow as much as usual in December, so the local ski resorts opened late. Now there is plenty of precipitation, but it is unusually warm, so it is falling as rain instead of snow in the mountains. This is horrible because rain not only melts the snow and leaves slush, it leads to floods along our various rivers.

It was too dry earlier, and now it is too warm. As a result, Steven Pass has closed until it gets more snow. Crystal Mountain has lowered prices and only two lifts are running. The Summit is closed today as well.

It is a good thing I'm planning a weekend trip to Whistler/Blackcomb in February. That might be my first time out this season! I've read conditions there are worse than usual, but they are likely to be better than here. The conditions can't be that bad because Whistler is currently hosting the FIS Snowboard World Championships, through this weekend. That would be fun to watch! Oh well, I'll just play SSX3 on my Playstation2 and pretend I'm competing. ;)

Monday, January 17, 2005

Friends and Former Coworkers

Finally, to wrap up the evening, I met with some former coworkers - people I used to work with at Compaq (now HP). This included Bev (in from Sacramento), who brought her family to Texas for a dude ranch vacation, where everybody rode horses. Bev's kids really enjoyed it, as far as I can tell.

One thing that is a bit shocking is to see how everybody's kids are growing up. Last time I was in Houston was 3 years ago, and it has been 8 since I moved away. So obviously the kids are all older, and there are a few new ones here and there!

Andrew, Jeff, Me


My former boss... and the biggest hacker I know.


Someone wanted a gin & tonic, so Pedro searched all over for his best Tanqueray gin.

Andrew, Adam, Alice

Andrew and his two kids. Wife Kathy wasn't feeling well. Last time I saw Alice she was in daipers, and her younger brother wasn't around yet.


Pedro's chihuahua, named "Romeo". This little guy was so friendly, but a little bit scared of the camera flash.

Patty and Me

Sunday, January 16, 2005


Yesterday I had to drive into town to pick up my race packet. While doing this, I noticed some signs for a traveling Cirque Du Soleil show: Varekai. I thought to myself, hey, my friends who went to Las Vegas are all seeing KĀ, so I felt like seeing Varekai. At this very late date (basically the night before the show), I could only get a single seat for myself, otherwise I would have tried to get another ticket for a friend.

So, after I cleaned up after the half-marathon, I drove back into Houston to Reliant Stadium, where Varekai had setup their tent in the parking lot.

I really like Cirque and acrobatic shows, and this one didn't disappoint. The costumes were colorful and wild and reminiscent of insects, and the show itself was nearly two hours long - one hour, twenty five minute intermission, and then another forty five or fifty minutes or so. This was the first traveling show I've seen - all the other ones I've attended were permanently based in Las Vegas or Orlando.

Houston Half-Marathon

The purpose of my weekend visit was to participate in the Houston half-marathon, properly known as the Aramco Houston half-marathon, after its sponsor.

I dragged myself out of bed at 5:30 am to be at the race site ready to go by 7:00, when the event started. It was pretty cool, in the mid-30's, and the temperature eventually rose to 46 degrees - clear, cool, and sunny, which made for great conditions.

The mayor of Houston opened the festivities, joked about Houston's recent status as #1 fattest city in the country, and then led everybody in a prayer to Jesus. Shawn Colvin sang the Star Spangled Banner and encouraged audience participation, and as the anthem ended, two Air Force jets flew overhead. I half expected celebratory gunfire and several "Yee Haws!!", but there was none to my surprise.

The course was lined with an impressive number of spectators, and I passed 5 bands over the 13.1 miles. I'm sure the full course passed several more! Two bands sounded like Metallica wannabes, two more were laid back lounge-type music, and another was a band covering current hits. There was also an Elvis impersonator or two, and some people even ran in costume (i.e. I ran near Superman for a mile or so, until I hit the half-marathon turnaround).

During the event I run up to a woman wearing a shirt with a catchy quote from the bible: Isaiah 40:31 ...they will run and not grow weary. Seems fitting enough!

I finished at 2:02:26, which I am pretty happy with given I did minimal training for this. Inside the convention center finish area, I grabbed some water and picked up my finisher's sweatshirt.

I noticed a key difference in race food between Seattle and Houston. In Seattle, the end-of-race banquet generally includes bagels, bananas, oranges, and clif bars. Here in Houston, there were bagels and a variety of other breads, along with eggs, sausage, and hash browns. Yes, that is correct, no fruit of any kind!

Giant Gecko Lizards!!

These two were at the pre-race expo.

Baby Shower

As it happens, today was the baby shower of two good friends of mine: Treasa and Charles, who are expecting in the middle of February. I didn't even know about it until dinner yesterday evening, but since I was staying in a spare room of Ann's (Treasa's sister) house, and the baby shower was at her home, I was easily able to attend! This was a coed baby shower - hey, it is 2005 - and the nice thing about this was I got to see a bunch of college friends I was not at all expecting to see this weekend.

Treasa and Charles know they are expecting a girl, and named her Kirin, which means poet, writer, or speaker in Hindi. Kirin is also a Japanese Beer, and in Asian mythology it is a hooved beast that brings good fortune - known as a Qilin in Chinese, or a Kirin in Japanese.

As it happens, I have a necklace of a kirin, so I took the opportunity to show the necklace to Treasa and Charles. I also took the opportunity in tease them about multiple births and wish Kirin many younger siblings, all of which were met with questionable enthusiasm. :)

Treasa and Me

She is expecting in just 4 weeks!

Treasa and Charles

They are very excited to receive a baby swing!

Ann's cool art

A friend of Ann's made this painting, which everybody thought was really nice looking.

Diane and Me

I hadn't seen Diane in years - she was in Aberdeen, Scotland for work the last time I was in Houston.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Houston, TX

A few months ago I planned a trip to Houston to meet various friends and also run in the Houston Half-marathon. So today, I flew into Houston, where I lived for 10 years but moved away 8 years ago.

My plane landed at a new terminal of Intercontinental Airport, and I picked up my rental car from the new Airport Rental Car Center. On the drive to my friend's house, I saw the new (since I left) Houston Aquarium from the highway, all lit up in blue neon. It was... very noticable? Garish? Maybe it is really nice inside...

Driving around Houston reminded of how much construction there always was - major road improvements are always occuring. The city is also very diverse - there are large Indian, Latin, and Black populations. In comparison, Seattle is fairly homogeneous.


Archway leading to the main Admin offices at Rice University.


Over by the James Baker Institute for Foreign Affairs.

Tile Ceiling

Ceiling of the new Duncan Building, where Engineering and Computer Science now is.

Slab Sculptures

Marble art, named 30-60-90.

Houston at Night

Traffic slowed to a stop so I took the opportunity to snap a photo. The neon blue outline of the aquarium is towards the bottom of the screen, above the cars. Right next to it was a lit up ferris wheel. Unfortunately I wasn't able to get a better picture - next time I'll actually go to the aquarium. :)

Thursday, January 13, 2005

TV Shows

Last night I got on my bike trainer and watched an episode of Desperate Housewives. Thank goodness for ReplayTV (works similarly to the far more familiar TiVo), or in this particular case, Windows Media Center Edition 2005. It is a rare occurence, but every now and then two shows I want to watch will conflict. In this case, the season premiere of 24 conflicted with Desperate Housewives so I had ReplayTV record one while Win MCE recorded the other.

Soon I plan to build a MythTV system, so I'll be able to handle a triple conflict! I'm not sure this has even happened - three shows I want to watch on at the same time. I could press my VCR into service (remember this device? It records video to an ancient technology called "tape") or even, as a last resort, also watch live TV (the horror of commercials!) to catch a 5-way conflict. This would certainly signal the nearing end of the universe, as I only have basic cable and there aren't that many shows on I'd like to see.

It got me thinking, how many shows do I watch, or try to follow? Probably more now that ever before. Let me count:

On Sunday, there is Arrested Development and Desperate Housewives. Monday is 24 and CSI: Miami. Tuesday is The Amazing Race. Wednesday is busy, with Smallville, Lost, and Alias. Thursday is CSI. Friday is Joan of Arcadia. Saturday is nothing I regularly watch. Of course, with all the time shifting I do, I watch half these shows on a different day than they actually broadcast.

That adds up to 9.5 hours of TV a week, plus the occasional show on the Discovery Channel which looks interesting (MythBusters, New Detectives, American Casino, etc.)

That isn't all the TV I watch - through Netflix I am slowly working my way through Babylon 5 and Stargate SG1, alternating seasons.

And last but not least, in the "guilty pleasure" category of TV, I watch the ocassional episode of Blind Date or Elimidate. Because sometimes, I just want to mentally veg out, and these shows are the best for that purpose.

At least I can't complain of being bored on the bike trainer!

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Pool Night

Our friend Sandy was up in Seattle this week for work, so tonight Eric, Krisanne, and I met him to play pool.

We decided teams via two rounds of rock-paper-scissors, and Eric and I wound up teammates. We won game one, got soundly beat in game two, so it all came down to the third game grudge match.

I managed to actually play halfway decent, so that added with Eric's natural pool abilities we leapt out to an early lead: one ball left to Sandy and Krisanne's four or five. I sank our final ball and took aim on the 8 ball, but failed to put in in. Eric and I tried in vain, turn after turn, until our lead evaporated and we were in danger of losing the game to Sandy and Krisanne who were coming on strong. I had yet another shot on the 8 ball, a sharp angle but close to the pocket, and the ball finally went in. Thus, team Eric and Karl secured the evening's championship two games to one!!

Originally uploaded by klbarrus.

Note the concentration as Eric uses the bridge, to line up a shot. ;)

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Snowy Day

I woke up this morning to a light dusting of snow on the ground. Maybe the winter snow sports season will finally pick up! It is already starting to slowly melt.


Here is a light covering of snow on my house.

Side yard

Deck chairs

I should invite someone over to sit on my deck with me!

Bogged Down Reading

A co-worker loaned me the novel Life of Pi, with the cryptic message "I'd like to hear what you think of the ending".

Out of curiosity I looked this book up on Amazon, and read the reviews. It seems the book describes a survivial situation, and the main character offers two explanations: one is religious (I survived by a miracle!) and one is more scientific, for lack of a better word.

This sounds pretty intersting actually... except I'm bogged down in Chapter 18 (out of 100). I'd like to finish the book, and if I don't, there is the pressure of having to explain to my friend that I got bored with it.

The plot sounds similar to the movie K-PAX, in which Kevin Spacey plays an interplanetary visitor... or a crazy human. Various clues accumulate that he is indeed and alien (especially if you watch the extra scenes on the DVD), while at the same time, a more plausible explanation emerges that he is quite human but suffered immense trauma.

So I decided to take a break and read something else, and then come back to Life of Pi. I currently have more than a dozen unread novels on my shelf, and that same number of magazines piling up, so I have plenty to read. In fact, I am far behind!

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Fit City

Seattle has been named the #1 fittest city in the U.S. for 2005 by Men's Health Magazine!

Just in case that link eventually vanishes, the top five cities are:

  1. Seattle
  2. Honolulu
  3. Colorado Springs
  4. San Francisco
  5. Denver

Looks like Colorado, with two cities in the top five, is a healthy place to live! I found it interesting that both Colorado Springs and Denver were listed as having high risk of alcohol... I wonder why?

Seattle gets dinged for having longer than average commute times. As someone who used to spend between an hour and and hour-and-a-half commuting roundtrip, I can attest to this! I solved my problem by moving to the suburbs, and now have a far more pleasant 15 minute roundtrip.

My old hometown of Houston was listed at #1 fattest city. Problems areas include too much TV watching, too little sports/exercise, bad environment and geography. Whew. By moving from Houston to Seattle, I've gone from the worst to the best!

IRC Bot 2

I stopped IRC'ing a few months ago, largely because there was a group of annoying users that made me feel like I was stuck in an extended Beavis and Butthead episode.

In any case, I prefer IM to IRC, because with IM you are just talking with one person and it is easier to focus on the conversation. With IRC, it varies from silence (nobody else is on) to cacophony (dozens of people all talking).

I told myself that about the only way I'd step back into IRC is if the channel I used to visit somehow split, and left behind the annoying users. Well, lo and behold, Breigh IM'ed me one day and told me that this exact situation occured!

So, I revamped my spare computer, and installed a different linux distribution. That computer was running Gentoo, and I decided to try Fedora because I just couldn't get a few things working under Gentoo, like sound, and I was tired of fiddling with it. Unfortunately, the Fedora install wouldn't start my network, and after digging around looking for various config files and trying a few things out, I just decided to punt and install the easiest distribution I've ever tried: Knoppix. Fundamentally, I'm not that interested in config and setup, I just want some linux distro running, so I can learn more about linux in my spare time.

Anyway, I installed Knoppix to the harddrive, updated it, and now have a spare computer to run various things on, like IRC bots.

Breigh asked if I knew much about InfoBot as she wanted to run some fun bots in the new IRC channel. Basically, bots do various automatic tasks, from holding a channel open to granting privileges. They can also respond to commands which in turn can start file transfers or answer questions. We thought it would be fun to have a bot store quotes from users, and then recall them later.

So, after a bit of work, I added those features. Previously, I added a "magic 8 ball" function, where the bot simulates the responses from the popular toy. So, I dusted off the code and added a "spin" function (spins a bottle among all the users in the channel) and "quote" functions (add/recall user quotes). It may sound all mysterious, but most of the code is pretty simple. For example, the "magic 8 ball" function is just:

private void do8Ball( String channel, String sender, String message )
String reply;

if ( message.length() < 8 )
reply = "usage: @8ball question";
sendMessage( channel, reply );
String question = message.substring( 7 );
int replyIndex = ( int ) ( Math.random() * eightBallReplys.length );

reply = sender + " asks " + question + " ... " + eightBallReplys[ replyIndex ];
sendMessage( channel, reply );

I'll probably let the bot sit for a while, before making further updates. I'm thinking of rewriting the entire thing in python, just as a way to learn that language. Another enhancement I could make is using a database to store quotes, which would be a fun way to learn a bit about database programming.

This has been entertaining in its own way - who says programming can't be fun?!

Tuesday, January 04, 2005


It's been cold lately - no clouds mean sunny but chilly days. In the mornings I see small puddles of water frozen over, where normally they wouldn't be.

My front lawn is shady for most of the day, so the grass has a fine layer of white on it until the afternoon.


The forecast for later this week is snow showers, so that should help the conditions in the mountains where the fun snow sports are!

Monday, January 03, 2005

Day Off

I had today off, and I didn't find out about it until last Friday, when a coworker informed me. We planned to go snowboarding, but after checking the conditions at Stevens Pass, we wound up not going.

I'm bummed - it is already the first week of January and I haven't gone snowboarding yet! Stevens didn't even open until the last week of December and my friend who went said it was passable but they definitely could use more snow.

There are other resorts in the area - Crystal Mountain near Mt. Rainier has better conditions, and so does Mt. Baker, east of Bellingham. Both are a bit further than Stevens Pass, which makes for a long day trip.

Instead of snowboarding, I went for a short bike ride just to get outside in the sunny, clear day.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Orkut Friend - David Fielding

Gail and Dave drove down from Vancouver to meet Krisanne, Eric, Francesca, and myself for dinner. It was fun to finally meet him in person and hang out in the evening.

We Seattle-ites waited at Vérité, a coffee shop in Ballard that is one of Krisanne's favorites. The coffeeshop also served cupcakes, which went well with coffee as my appetizer! Vérité was really bright and had high ceilings, so it seemed to me it could also double as an art gallery.

Gail and Dave showed up, and we wandered around looking for food. A few restaurants were closed and we wound up at a bar which was OK. Dave's hobby is flying, so we talked about various things from acrobatic planes and snap-rolls to orkut people.

Later at Krisanne's, a minor cultural note came up - we watched the Superfriends "whassup" spoof, and were all giggling and laughing... except Gail, who was busy looking at the rest of us like we were insane. She said she didn't watch that cartoon growing up in Cananda and thus didn't find it funny. Well, as someone who did, and is also familiar with the silly Bud "whassup" advertising campaign, I thought it was hilarious. So, check it out and leave a comment about it.

Gail, David, Me

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Resolution Run

I decided to do a "Resolution Run" 5K this morning, 10:30 am at Magnuson park in Seattle. This race had a unique division of competitors - the "trip and dip" group that jumped into Lake Washington before finishing!

I decided not to do that as, well, I didn't want to be soaking wet.

At the start I talked to a woman with a very friendly border collie, and later spotted another with two greyhounds. Maybe a pet dog is in my future. ;) Anyway, with 0.1 of a mile to go, the path forked - one direction led to the finish, and the other led to the water and then to the finish.

After I finished, I walked over to watch people in the "trip and dip" division - they ran down a small ramp into the water, jumped in and submerged, and then quickly made their way to the building. Some people removed their shoes, some had swimsuits on, and some just splashed right on in. It looked fun, but better them than me!


I've been good about sticking to previous resolutions.

For 1997, I resolved to understand personal finance better, in particular, where I was spending money. So I began to track with Quicken, switched over to Money, and have kept that up.

For 1998, I resolved to get more exercise. So I started running in the spring, and have kept that up, and even branched out into triathlon.

One resolution I've been bad about keeping is to cook more often. Part of this is the simple fact it is a drag to cook for one person. I'd either wind up with leftovers for three more meals, or have to scale down every recipe. So I wind up eating out, eating with friends, or getting frozen meals at the store.

I'm going to try this resolution again. Maybe I can stick to it this time!