December 31, 2005

new years in big bear

so i spend new years in big bear with my family and parts the polish posse. i had missed the last two years of new year festivities in big bear so it was good to be there. i saw many familiar faces from costa rica and many not so familiar faces (people that i had never met or hadn't seen is so long that i didn't recognize them.) new years eve itself was filled with lots talking (my voice was hoarse the next day), drinking, and dancing late into the night. (i got to bed around 3am.)

that said, not everything was perfect. the tchaikovsky family wasn't there because their grandfather was in the hospital after a hear attack. also after calling her family to with them a happy new year, ronda found out that her grandfather was also in the hospital after a heart attack. obviously this was not a good new years to be a grandfather.

here's some pictures from the evening.

December 24, 2005

xmas with the family

well, another xmas eve has passed. i spent it in la with ronda, my family, and oliver. we had the traditional wigilia dinner, but unusually, the fish in aspic was missing (not that i missed it) and i wasn't asked to play christmas carols on the piano (the first time this has happened in probably 25 years.) here's some pics.

December 23, 2005

flying to the wrong airport

for the first time ever, me and ronda decided not to drive to la for xmas but instead we decided to fly down. unfortunatly, due to heavy fog at john wayne airport the redirected our flight to ontaria. (and i thought this only happened to people on the east coast.) so while we should have gotten to my folks house at around 8pm, we ended up arriving at 11:30pm. had we driven we would have made it there by midnight. the lesson has been learned.

December 18, 2005

yummy cheese

so it's birthday time for ed, and to celebrate ronda had some excellent yummy cheeses shipped in directly from france. the vacherin in particular is one of my favorite all time cheese and you can't really buy it in the stores here. so with the surpluss of cheeses and wine that we had at home we invited a couple friends over for an evening of great food and drink. (we were doubly excited when they brought over some really good italian and spanish deli meats.)

dorking with wood

so i spent the past couple weekends designing and building a spice rack. (the design was centered around functionality and ease of manafucture... ie, i don't have too many tools or space to work with.) here's some pictures of the semi finished product. (it doesn't have handles or stain yet. also, it's an inch too wide, but without a table saw there's no way to fix that yet.) in the new year i'll start working on a second one and finish this one up. (we clearly have too many spices.)

December 10, 2005

kegged the speckled speckled hen

well, today i finally got around to kegging my speckled speckled hen experiment. the final gravity is a bit lower than i wanted, but there's nothing i can do about that. (i was shooting for a little sweet, not dry.) of course i also didn't think there was nearly enough vanillia flavor so i added in an extra one and a half beans and some powered vanilla extract into the priming sugar mixture. it was really tasty before it went into the keg, i'll probably tap it in the new year and see how it's turned out.

December 9, 2005

happy to be home

i got back today from a quick trip to toronto, canada where i was giving presentations at a Sun Tech Days conference on SMF and MT programming on solaris. now i'm glad to be home, sleeping in my own bed, and not travelling for a little while. here are some pics.

December 5, 2005

back from warsaw

well, i just got back from 12 days in poland. it's hard to believe the last time i was there was back in '96, almost 10 years ago. i'll have to make sure i manage to get back there a little more often.

i had a great time and was staying at my grandmothers place. it was cold and lightly snowy most the time there. i flew out there on the wed before thanksgiving and i was working remotely from the sun microsystems offices in poland for the week after thanksgiving. my dad was out there with me at the same time and our social schedule was packed. most days consisted of waking up early, taking a tram to work around 8am, leaving the office around 5:30pm (when it was already pitch black outside), taking a tram home, and meeting up with family or friends to eat and drink into late hours of the night. by the end of this trip i was exhausted. but it was a great time and i really enjoyed staying in warsaw. (a city i've never really enjoyed hanging out in before.) here's some pictures from the trip.