And like that...

the snow is gone. Simply amazing how quickly the Pacific air will warm things up here. Gotta enjoy the snow the couple days it's here. I was really looking forward to a weekend hike in the snow. Argh.


Snow in Snoqualmie

This time it really did snow in Snoqualmie. Lots of ice as well, but snow has stuck around for a couple of days, which last year was rare (nonexistant?). No school today, so Spencer had fun playing in the snow with Garrett.


Back from Hawaii

Apologize in advance for how long this page will take to load. I uploaded all the images in hi-res and "large."

What a change of pace to come back from Hawaii to snow in Seattle. Argh!

The family used the Purdue at Hawaii game as a good excuse to head to the middle of the Pacific for a week. We spent a lot of time on the beach, in the Ocean, traveling around Oahu, and catching a few major attractions.

We got in late on the 19th (after midnight), so spent the first day sleeping in and relaxing. We stayed on Waikiki, which I'm not sure we'd do again. Didn't like the price of the hotel for what we got; then again, we didn't have to worry about parking.

We spent the first morning on the beach and enjoying "riding the waves" as they came in from the south.

After a lunch at the beach, took a drive around the southeast end of the island, allowing the kids to take a nap and Amy and I to see a little of the island. That night we were back down at the beach playing in the sand.

Next day, we visited Diamond Head. Here's Honolulu from the top:

After another short drive and naps, we hit the Pearl Harbor area, taking the opportunity to tour the decommissioned battleship USS Missouri.

Spencer loved the .50-cal machine guns! (yes, that's him running to it at the end of our tour)

The next day (Wednesday), we headed to Sea Life Park, located on the southeast coast of Oahu. We weren't sure what to expect, but they had dolphins, sea lions, and sting rays, so we were hopeful it would be fun.

Along the way, we stopped and enjoyed one of the beaches... the east coast is chock full of rock and lava rock.

We only stayed at Sea Life Park a couple hours, but caught a Sea Lion show and a Dolphin show. In addition, they had penguins and sea turtles... it was hard to pull Garrett away from either one!

On the way back, we stopped at a scenic viewpoint and snapped some pictures of the rock formations in the ocean.

That afternoon, we all crashed in the hotel, and enjoyed dinner at "Cheeseburger in Paradise" in Waikiki.

Thursday was Thanksgiving, obviously, and strangely enough we awoke just in time to see the Lions kickoff at 7:30 am our time! After the Lions gave up a 10-0 lead to go down 21-10, we decided the beautiful weather was calling us and we retired to the beach. After a lazy day, we had a turkey buffet dinner at a restaurant around the corner from our hotel.

On Friday I got up and headed to the east coast to catch the sunrise, and was treated to spectacular views from a vantage point I sought out.

That day we went to the northwest corner of the island, about a 60 minute drive from the hotel, and enjoyed real waves hitting the beaches of the north shore. Too dangerous to go in without a surfboard or other floating gear, but Spencer enjoyed getting knocked down by the waves.

Finally Saturday rolled around, and we spent some more time at Waikiki beach, and finally headed to the game. We missed kickoff due to parking problems, but the game was a blast, a first for Garrett, and the first time Amy and I have been to a Purdue game in two years. We met up at halftime with a couple former tailgating friends who also made the trip to Hawaii, and it was great to see them after such a long hiatus.

And that was that. Purdue lost, 42-35, finishing the regular season at 8-5 and a bowl game in Orlando.

A very relaxing trip for me. I didn't touch work once, and made a good dent in reading the Lord of the Rings (all six books... I got through three of them on the trip). We had a couple interesting incidents, one involving Garrett, an overflowed diaper, Amy cleaning clothes in the airplane lavatory, and me cleaning an airplane seat. The other incident involved me leaving a bag (my computer, PSP, GPS, and iPod) on the rental car shuttle on our way home. I learned I CAN jump a fence (although I did have to set Garrett down to accomplish that) and run up a set of escalators the wrong way.


First snow of the year

Not in Snoqualmie, mind you, but rather up in the Pass. After a few hours at the Museum of Flight, I took the boys up to the Pass to see what the snow was like. Sure enough, at least a foot of snow on the ground, so I bundled them up and spent some time walking and playing in the snow. The Tubing runs weren't open yet, but they had fun nonetheless.


Detroit Lions exorcism

Funny video (if you're a Lions fan) on YouTube I found while looking for Lions videos...


1 out of 9 ain't bad

I'm talking about the Lions, and this was the first time I was truly unimpressed with the Lions' play. And even then, they looked better than they have the past five years.

Marinelli may not know how to win, but the Lions sure look good in losing.

Jon Kitna is on pace to break Scott Mitchell's Lions' record for passing years in a season. Three Lions are on pace for 80 catches this year (Jones, Furrey, Williams). Ernie Sims looks the real deal.

Where oh where did Dre Bly go? I really thought he would be hitting his prime this year, and no such luck.


Microsoft to offer movies and video via XBox 360

This really isn't a surprise, except for the fact that I expected it eariler. I fully expect the 360 to turn into a home control, media center, and e-commerce hub for the home. The platform is there.

Record Floods in the Snoqualmie Valley

This really doesn't affect me directly, except Spencer didn't have school today and likely won't for a few days, but the Snoqualmie River has record water flow, and the flood plains in North Bend, Snoqualmie, Carnation, and Duvall are experiencing record floods at the moment. Some news on the floods from the King County website. I guess that's nice about being on the Ridge... we are subject to the high winds, but water flows downhill.


My 300th post, and a new pic for my profile...

The obligatory family picture, updated to reflect the fall, taken on the Tokul Creek Bridge on the Snoqualmie Valley Trail on a beautiful October morning. You can't see it, but Snoqualmie Ridge is actually the ridge in the background.

Halloween Pics!

Argh, just realized I hadn't posted any halloween pics...

Seattle Museum of Flight

Spencer has been asking to go to Seattle for the past week. Today Amy and I decided to try something different - the Seattle Museum of Flight. We weren't sure what was in store for us, we hadn't been there, and we hadn't heard anything about it.

Located right on Boeing Field, the Museum of Flight is a "small" (not tiny) Museum that does a good job on the history of flight and airplanes, not just Boeing :) And they have an impressive array of interactions, which the kids love. Multiple similators, interactive teaching tools about drag/thrust/lift/gravity and yaw/roll/pitch, and various cockpits to sit in made for a fun day for the kids. And, the actual

They also have a live area outside where you can tour actual plans; today they had Air Force One and the Concorde; alas, it was raining by the time we finished the museum, so we took a rain check, literally, and will be back soon to check those out.

We bought a membership, and we plan on taking the kids back quite often. Unlike the Pacific Science Center and Chidren's Museum at Seattle Center, the Museum of Flight was not busy on a weekend, which suits me just fine.

I don't shop very often...

and it's even more rare that I enjoy shopping and get caught up in it, but that's exactly what happened Saturday as the family spent a couple hours at REI's flagship store in Seattle. What started as a visit to see what it had in store and pick up some winter gear for the kids turned into a free-for-all for Amy and I as we spent far more than planned. Of course, it's about time I upgraded my winter gear wardrobe, as it's stood pat for almost 15 years now. Now I am ready for winter tubing and skiing!


Could not have said it better myself

Great writeup on the Audi RS4.

I drove my ex-boss' RS4 last week on the way back from lunch. F-in' 100MPH in second gear before I even got to the end of a SHORT on ramp on the I-90 express lanes. I was most proud taking the turns at the end of the express lanes and having my ex-boss reach for the door handle. And the roar of the engine at idle is unbelievable.

One friggin' sweet right. Amazon stock better go through the roof so I can afford one of these.

"You're now driving war." Amen to that.