C4C Auction

February 28th, 2006

Last Friday was the UW Business School’s annual Challenge 4 Charity auction, raising $$ for the Boys and Girls Clubs and Special Olympics… It was a great night of seeing old classmates and bidding on things that I wouldn’t normally shop for. The bidding was fierce, the bidding was fast…. and in the end, I ended up with a few prizes to take home and a much lighter wallet as well.

    Here’s a list of the things I was able to snag with my bid number:

  • A bottle of Royal Balkan Muskat wine - Apparently, only a few bottles are made every year and this supposedly something only the royal family drinks…. it may all be a bunch of hoo-ha, but it makes the wine seem very impressive, plus it’s in a cool-shaped bottle. My folks like muscat wine, so the bottle now resides in Hawaii, waiting for an “occasion” to drink it.
  • Gift certificate to Duke’s Chowder House. I’ve never been there, so it’s a good excuse to try something different
  • An eight-course tasting menu with wine pairings at the Union Restaurant. Haven’t been there either, but it looks like an expensive place, given the price of it…..
  • A golf - dinner - lodging package for a resort out in the middle of Washington State. I always like going somewhere new to lose golf balls.
  • A 60 minute and a 90 minute massage. They are at two different places, since it was a silent auction and I assumed I would win at most one of them, not both…. guess I’ll be getting the spa-treatment one of these days….
  • Diamond Club seats (including food/drinks) for the Seattle Mariners. This is a wedding present to our friends, Dave and Merrick, so yippee for them, and yippee for us getting to sit in the Diamond Club area!
  • 4-night lodging and ski package to Mt. Baker. It looks to be right on the mountain, so come next season, it should be a nice ski vacation
  • And finally, the table centerpiece, which included a bottle of wine, wine glasses, a bunch of chocolates that somehow ended up in my mom’s suitcase when she returned home to Hawaii, and a bunch of gourmet products (smoked salmon, cheese, crackers, etc)… PLUS a stainless steel bucket (which I think is the coolest part)

Looks like I have a bunch of places to visit and things to do this year…. can’t wait! The total amount raised in the auction was approx $150,000!!! Yay to the kids that will receive the aid and to all the hard work put in to making that night possible.

Go Big or Go Home

February 21st, 2006

That was the mantra all weekend during my buddy Mike’s party in Vegas. Mike is getting married in March, so 13 of us celebrated and took down the town. It was a great weekend, filled with a full day of golf Saturday and watching basketball and Nascar on Sunday. Speaking of Nascar, did I mention that I picked the Daytona 500 winner? Yup, Jimmie Johnson…. Looks like Baws Hawg is gonna have a great season in fantasy Nascar. Look out Blake, it’s gonna be a long season!

I’m outside of Chi-town this week, doing a little work, a little training, and a little catching-up on sleep. Black dog is being taken care of though, so don’t worry. My folks are watching Amos, so he’s got double the attention and probably a bunch of illegal table scraps to boot. Tonight I came back from a “team building” activity, where each team had puzzles and brain teasers to solve. Now, I’m all for this kind of activity, since I love solving things others can’t… but since we have so many international associates in training, they don’t understand puns or riddles, which really isn’t fair. Let’s see if you can solve this teaser:

What do the following set of words represent???

issues issues
issues issues
issues issues
issues issues
issues issues

If this is too easy, which it should only take you about 20 seconds, maybe i’ll give you a harder teaser later….

Carnival time

February 4th, 2006

For those of you not from Hawaii, this post will probably not make much sense…. This weekend is the annual carnival for my high school back in Honolulu. I wish I could express how much fun and how many awesome memories I have of going to past carnivals. It has all the standard rides and games, which are mostly run by an outside vendor… but the really fun part is all the food booths and kiddie games that are run by students/faculty/alums. I haven’t been back to a school carnival since 1996, but one of these years, i’m going to make it a point to go back to Hawaii in Feb for this. One of the best parts of the carnival is a thing called malasadas, a portuguese donut coated with sugar. Malasadas are a key attraction to the carnival and whenever we used to go, we’d get dozens and dozens, eat a bunch there and freeze the rest at home. My parents even volunteered making malasadas when I was going to school there. All in all, a very good time and since I’m missing it this weekend, I thought I would give a shout out to the carnival and for anyone reading this in Honolulu, make sure you stop by today if you can!

Woohoo to the weekend

January 6th, 2006

A four day week is always a nice treat… but coming off the winter holidays and after working from home for the last week of December, it still felt a little long. Here’s where it’s at… NFL playoffs are here and that means games on Saturday and Sunday! Don’t expect me to leave the house this weekend, which I’m sure Amos will love, as well as my pocketbook for that matter. Playoff football is so much more than just a game… it’s a way to celebrate indoors, since it’s still cold outside. So instead of just waking up and lumbering to the couch in the morning, playoffs require some type of special food, special place to watch it, or a drink that incorporates your favorite team’s city. For Saturday, Washington vs Tampa Bay & Jacksonville vs New England… not much there, no really good food, unless you feel like shelling out $$ for New England lobsters (sorry for the shell pun). On Sunday, Carolina vs NY Giants has the possibility of New York style pizza or Carolina BBQ… both nice football foods. Pittsburgh vs Cincy is a good game, but nothing good about those cities, so looks like pizza and bbq it is.

Nothing says “bring on a fun weekend” like staying home Friday night paying bills, cleaning the hosue and doing laundry… WOOHOO! Maybe i’ll get really crazy tonight and order take-out…. oooh, you never know. Just wanted to give a happy travels shout-out to Lee & Sachi, who embark tonight on their first international leg of their year travel, leaving Hawaii for New Zealand. Wishing them all the fun and happiness at every stop on their journey. BON VOYAGE!

Sneaky dog

December 21st, 2005

Amos has the run of the house when I’m at work…. and in the past, we always knew he would do things he was not supposed to, like sitting on the couches. When I’m home, he never gets on the couch, unless I tell him to jump up. He knows his place is on his doggy-bed, but the couch i’m sure is oh-so-much-more comfortable than his bed. Often times we would come home and the couch would be warm…. showing he was just laying on it. He likes to think that he’s fooling me when I’m not there, but now that I’ve installed a webcam in the living room, I can now get a live shot of what he’s up to and his normal behaviors when I’m not home. So today, I kept a small window of the webcam in the corner of the my laptop screen while at work so I could see what Amos was doing. Turns out, he sleeps almost all day. It was interesting that by the time I got to work, he was already snoozing on the couch. He didn’t get off the couch till almost 2pm, which he only did because he probably heard the mailman come to the door. Then at 5pm when the dog-walker came in, Amos went for his walk, then came back and correctly layed down in his doggy-bed. The moment the dog-walker left the house, Amos got up, walked to the front door to make sure she had left and then made a beeline to the couch again. Seriously…. this dog has two personalities, one that obeys the rules when I’m around, and the other that says “if nobody is around I can do anything I want”. He thinks he’s soooo smart. Too bad he doesn’t know what a gadget-techie I am. Now I’m trying to install speakers so I can talk to him while I’m not here and freak him out. What other gadgets or gizmos can I add???? Maybe this calls for another trip to BestBuy?

Living room is wired for the world

December 19th, 2005

Now that Lee and Sachi are gone and traveling for the next year, they will definitely miss Amos, the black lab of the house. To help ease the missing, I’ve now made the living room accessible to the world… well, not really, but i’ve set up a doggy-cam that will show amos in his bed, or if he’s on one of the couches in the room. Lee should be able to access it anytime he wants, from anywhere in the world. I just have to make sure that i know when the camera turns on, since i’m often on said couches too, so i like to know when i’m being watched :)

And the other cool thing installed in the house is the slingbox. In case you’re wondering what a slingbox is, it’s a device that transmits your TV across the Internet, so Lee & Sachi can watch TV from anywhere. Now, it’s not just a TV signal, it’s the actual signal from my TV… so whatever i’m watching is what they’re watching. Since we’re sharing the signal, they also have control over the TV. They have the ability to change the station, change the volume, or hunt through the Tivo box to find things in the archive. Needlesstosay, it’s going to be a feud trying to watch different things at the same time. Between watching their TV, seeing their living room with Amos, it’ll be just like they’re here.

Besides the electronic toys, the rest of the weekend was spent catching up with Amos and making him feel like he’s not by himself (which he is during weekdays when i’m at work). A long walk around Seward Park on Saturday tired him out, so he’ll be sleeping till Tuesday. And tonight was the Christmas parade of ships off the Madrona beach area. They had upwards of 30 boats all decked out with lights idling in Lake Washington playing Christmas music and driving around haphazardly like a demolition derby without any of the contact. The 25 degree wind-chill made the evening ship parade quite frigid, but still a nice time…. and Amos enjoyed getting out and stretching his legs. I always like having a reason to get out of the house on a Sunday… otherwise it’s a long day of football on the couch. And speaking of football, i’ve made it to the championship game in my fantasy football league, so i’m guaranteed some $$, since the top 2 positions get some money. If I win next weekend, it’ll be a nice Christmas. With my Philly Eagles in the toilet, it’s nice to still have a reason to watch the NFL.

All by myself……

December 11th, 2005

Lee and Sachi left this morning on their 12 month trip around the world. I took them to the airport and after giving them both a hug, they said their goodbyes to Amos, our black lab. Saying goodbye to a dog is tough, since they couldn’t tell Amos that they were leaving for a year-long trip and not just abandoning him. Also, Amos just thinks they’re getting out of the car and will be home later that day, so it’ll hit him in the next few days that they’re not coming back for awhile. I’ll try to spend more time with him this week so he’s not feeling all by himself, but after the last few months of having someone usually at home during the day with him, he’s going to have to learn to be by himself during the workday.

This house is now seemingly too big for just me. 3 couches? 2 offices? What to do with all this space? I feel like I should just close the door on a few rooms, since I basically just use the tv room and the kitchen most of the time. The other rooms will be opened only for the “occasional” party… and I say occasional just because I know Lee and Sachi reads my blog :) I will probably only have 1 or 2 get togethers…. each month. Otherwise Amos will not have anyone visiting him. And that’s my main concern, having enough people come and visit Amos so he’s not stuck with only me and Madeline. Madeline, by the way, is a sweet girl down the street that walks Amos every afternoon since I can’t make it home from work before his bladder explodes. She’ll be his best friend every afternoon when he is antsy to go for a walk.

Now going forward, communication with Lee and Sachi will be important, both for me & Amos and for them. I am going to get a webcam and hook up Skype or some Internet program that allows me to talk and send video images over the web. This way, they can see how clean i’m keeping the house, and how well Amos is doing. I hope to have somewhat regular web-calls with Lee & Sachi, so if anyone else wants to have video-chats with Amos, let me know. Amos would like that.

The week in review

December 8th, 2005

Haven’t written in awhile…. sorry ’bout that. I spent most of the past week visiting relatives and getting away from Seattle. Nothing like visiting distant relatives and catching up on years of what’s been going on with each other’s families. December makes everyone think of family and visiting, so I just got some of my visiting done prior to Lee & Sachi leaving…. which is coming up on Sunday. Wow, this is coming up fast. With only 2+ days left, i’m getting them to be nostalgic and convincing them to do chores around the house that they will “miss” while being away for 12 months. Amos is going to get a B-A-T-H (can’t say it, since he knows that word and knows what it means) from Sachi and the kitchen will get a good once over cleaning before they leave. All things I don’t like doing, so one last time for good measure.

Lots of things to do before Lee & Sachi leave…. say goodbye to their friends, paint the town red one last time, and relish the warmth of home, since a hotel will never feel as comfortable. This weekend will be crazy busy, with all these Bon Voyage activities, along with another Seahawks game on Sunday. Seahawks vs. 49ers isn’t a good game, it should be a walk for the sea-chickens, but always a fun time watching NFL live. I’ll definitely let you know how that game turns out, since I have 50 yard line tickets (club seats!!!). WOOHOO!

Counting down Lee & Sachi’s last days

November 30th, 2005

Next Sunday is when my sister and brother-in-law leave Seattle for a year…. so that leaves only a limited number of days left, and also a limited number of meals left. With only a week or so to go, they don’t want to eat boring spaghetti or whatever is in the freezer…. they want things they really like, similar to a feasting syndrome, where they want to partake in everything they won’t be able to get after they leave. Tonight it’s korean bbq cooked on the grill outside. mmmm, bulgogi!

Can’t wait to see what the rest of the week brings in terms of their feasting plan…. last night was seafood at a restaurant overlooking Elliott Bay, (granted it was partially sponsored so it wouldn’t affect their monetorium) so if i just hang out with them until they leave, i’m SURE to get good food everynight :) I’m thinking one night will be at Flying Fish (since they supplied me with a $50 gift card after getting sick on their oysters). But $50 can’t buy 3 dinners, so maybe it’ll just be drinks…. that’s a few drinks each, but when it’s free, they seem to go down easier, hehehe. Bring on the grub!

29 hours in sin city

November 16th, 2005

I’m on hour 24 of my 29 hours in Vegas….. taking a breather right now to check-in with my blog. My folks are inVegas all week, so my sister and I decided to drop in and say hello (my sister is staying a few days longer than I am). I got in last night after a 3/4 day of work, but worked on the plane to get emails ready to be sent, so it ended up being a full day of work. After getting in, we all grabbed a relaxing Japanese dinner and then split up to play different games around the casino. After a few hours of winning and losing, everyone ended up crashing around 1am. Today was filled with casino-hopping and lots of walking around…. did i mention the lots of walking? Vegas casinos are so far apart, even when they’re next to each other.

I have about 5 hours left in this jaunt to Sin City, with a nice italian dinner and last-minute casino fun before jumping back on a plane to Seattle at midnight. We’ll see how tomorrow ends up…. at work that is. Lack of sleep + cold medicine + coming down from the Vegas high = rough day at work. 29 hours in any other city would be much less entertaining. Only in Vegas can it be done in so much style in so little time….