Happy Birthday to me

February 9th, 2006

Today is my b-day… well depending on when this submission is time-stamped, it may not be anymore. The 9th has always been one of my favorite numbers; not only is it my birthday, but it was also the number of my little league baseball jersey for a few years and it’s the only number that sounds cool over a CB radio… people say niner instead of just nine. Although I had to work a full day today (no rest for the weary), my co-workers had a plate of cookies on my desk, along with a hanging “Happy Birthday” sign. Very nice. A few friends then took me to dinner tonight, so I’ve been taken care of all day :) In case anyone wants to sing “Happy Birthday to You”, be careful… since according to SportsNight (one of the best TV sit-coms ever!), that song is owned by the estate of Mildred and Patty Hill, so you may have to pay royalties if you sing it in public or sing it on your own website. Betcha thought that song was free… right? That’s why most restaurants always end up singing some bastardized version of that song, just so they can get around the royalty yet still keep their customers happy. Also, let me give a big shout out to Michael Ianniciello, who shares the same b-day, but instead of turning 28, he’s turning 1. YAY!!!

Enough about those refs….

February 7th, 2006

I’m a Seattle fan (when my Philly Eagles aren’t playing) and I rooted for the Seahawks with 250 other fans at a local party on Sunday… but this city has to stop complaining about the refs. I know, I know… I saw the many many blunders the refs caused, the touchdown called back, the mysterious holding penalties whenever Seattle got a first down, the Roethisberger touchdown that crossed the goal line after he was already on the ground for 2 seconds, and so forth. But at some point, this city has to realize that the outcome of the game isn’t going to change. The refs aren’t going to apologize, no matter how wrong they know they are. So let’s be the bigger city and act like the rest of the country portrays us to be… coffee-drinking, granola-eating, somewhat-snobby, environmentally-friendly, mostly-yuppie goodie goodies. Let the game be over with and lets concentrate on what’s really important…. that our city is better than theirs. Yes, I said it. Pittsburgh has a single major industry - steel, rundown industrial neighborhoods, and an inferiority complex by being dwarfed by the history, culture, and overall coolness of Philadelphia. Seattle however, is the hub of new business, new technology, cool-hip culture and is a constant destination city. Who amongst you has ever said, “Let’s go take a vacation to Pittsburgh!”? Just what I thought… nobody. As a football fan, a Super Bowl win and the Vince Lombardi trophy would have been welcomed additions to an already Super city. But as a sympathetic heart who hates to see other in distress, Pittsburgh definitely is in more “need” of a positive gesture than Seattle. Seattle-ites will continue to go about our business, forging ahead to make the next airplane, new-flavored latte, or software program… I guess striving ahead is our cross to bear. Now that Pitt has the trophy (no matter how undeserving they were in attaining it), they can make themselves feel like winners for a few moments, if anything, to distract them from the cold bitter envionment that is their city. For Seattle, we’re already looking ahead. Lots of great things coming up…. Mariner games, a summer filled with outdoor activities and another record earnings quarter from Starbucks. Now who’s the big winner? You guessed it…. Seattle!

Where did January go?

January 30th, 2006

Wow, it’s already the 30th of the month….. I apologize for you regular readers out there in blog-land, but work and taking care of amos and me not wanting to be on the computer unless I needed to, all factored into me being M-I-A for the last 2 weeks. Let’s see… what have you all missed during my hiatus????

  • On the Amos front, I was out at Costco and while buying his normal mikbones and greeny-bones (that make his breath smell better), I passed by a huge bin of fluffy doggy-pillows and had to get one for him. He uses it as his new sleeping bed in my room. I’ve been trying to keep him from going out in the backyard past midnight or before 7am, since sometimes even when he doesn’t have to pee/poop, he still goes out and barks his head off. I feel sorry for my neighbors, but he’s a dog, and i’m sure he’s telling the neighborhood, “hey, i’m a loud dog and wanted to let you know that i’m here”.
  • On the work front, it’s getting to a busy part of the fiscal year, so i’m definitely kept occupied for the most part. Since this blog is more about me than my work, i’ll just leave it at that.
  • On the fun front, the Seahawks are Detroit bound, and even though i haven’t been to a playoff game, i have gone to two regular-season games this year and i have been to tailgate parties outside Qwest Field before each playoff game, so I like to think that I’m part of the “12th man”, the unofficial title given to the Seattle fans. (FYI, there are 11 players allowed on the field at anytime, so the fans are given 12th man status). It’s a lot of hoopla upcoming this week as the hype usually outweighs the actual game. I broke down and got a Netflix subscription this week. When Lee & Sachi were leaving, they asked if I wanted to continue their Netflix account, but I told them that I wasn’t into movies that much… turns out, Netflix gives me a chance to unwind with movies that I haven’t seen, since I almost never get out to the theaters anymore (did you know theater tickets cost like $10 now???) I’ve already watched Two for the Money, Along Came a Spider, Sum of All Fears, and I have Garden State next to watch. It’s not a during the week thing, since that’s already full of work-functions, pub club, regular tv-watching and odds-and-ends chores…..
  • Maybe you have or haven’t noticed, but on the link list on the right, our friends Blake and Christi have recently entered the blogging world and their respective sites, Black Death Monkey and Griffin and Calder, are cool insights into their lives. Blake’s site was expertly designed by Anthony… Big props dude! If these two can blog and handle 2 little rugrats, then I really have no excuse for ignoring my blog. I’ve been told that Lee & Sachi keep track of Seattle through all the many blogs of us Seattle-ites. Lucky Lee & Sachi can now have two more blogs to make them laugh and miss home…. if they ever have time to relax between fishing (Great catch Sachi!!!), rafting, wine-tasting, and all the other fun stuff in their New Zealand leg of their trip….Sachi\'s Perch

Now that you’re kinda up-to-speed on what’s been happening, I’m all set to start another work week. I washed my car, since there was a 2 hour break in the rain-showers this morning… did I mention it was 43 degrees outside? Yeah, it was cold. And when i finished, the skies once again opened up. Ain’t Seattle grand?!?!? Stay tuned for more posts this week… i promise, no more multi-week absences :)

Happy 2006

January 2nd, 2006

The new year was rocked in style… with a bunch of friends over to toast 2006. Seattle on New Year’s Eve is mostly house parties, since it’s more fun celebrating cheaply at home versus at some expensive club at $50-$100 a ticket. Not much else has been going on this week, so that’s why i haven’t been writing. I guess resolutions are in order given the new year. Hrm… haven’t thought of what resolutions i want to have, so i’ll just give a few generic ones so i don’t have to be held to such stringent rules.

  • Keep the house clean on a regular basis - I’m afraid that if i let it go a week or two, then it’ll get out of hand and i’ll forget what a clean house looks like
  • Better time management - It’s so easy to sit down and watch tv all night…. but i need to use that time to get things done so my responsibilities don’t pile up on me
  • Connect with friends - I need to make the effort to contact friends so that time doesn’t become a barrier in getting together.
  • Cook at home more - Eating out is not only more expensive, but less healthy, so eating at home more will be beneficial for many reasons

Hope everyone had a great New Year’s. 2006 should be a great year filled with good health, happiness and hearing about all of Lee & Sachi’s travels!!!

mmmm, El Gaucho

December 14th, 2005

Quite possibly one of the best steakhouses in Seattle… and last night was a treat going there. To celebrate Christmas-Kwanza-Hanukkah-Ramadan-Festivus, my team went to this great Belltown establishment for a very nice dinner. Anytime they create a ceaser salad tableside, you know it’s going to be good. But it was definitely a meat affair. Vegetarians be damned, carnivores only please. Our 13-person table was easily the most lively bunch in the place. Maybe it was the comraderie outside the office or the post-5pm conversations that would not be allowed in the workplace….. whatever it was, we dined for 3 hours and had a blast. This was a nice team reward for lots of hard work by everyone. Our team is still trying to figure out a way to have a team outing next year someplace outside of Seattle…. since a fine meal is great, but a weekend retreat, say to Whistler or Vegas, that would be just off the hook!

Snow just won’t stick

December 2nd, 2005

On two different days this week, the weatherman predicted snow in the Seattle forecast. However, on both occasions, it was a lot of hype with no substance. We got all psyched and ready for a snowday and a “work from home” day…. but as soon as each flake hit the 38 degree surface temp, it melted. Then the second time, the snow actually fell in huge flakes, large enough to make us run to the office window and say, “oooh, maybe we should leave early so we don’t get snowed in at work”. But it turned to slush and our prediction of not being able to drive to work the next day became a myth even before we went to sleep that night. Luckily many schools were closed or delayed (just in case), so traffic was non-existent.

They’re predicting more snow flurries tonight but i’m not even going to bother. It’ll probably be rain or something harmless like that. Seattle freaks out with any dusting or white-stuff to the point where they prematurely shut down things before the salt trucks even roll out. Just 3 years ago, I was shoveling 2 feet of snow off my driveway in suburban Washington D.C. and still expected to be at work the next day… so Seattle comparably seems to have the sissy approach when it comes to handling snow. With all the 4-wheel drive Subarus and other so-called adventure vehicles adopted by the camping-hiking-outdoorsy Seattle-ites, you’d think they would know how to drive in snow, let alone wet snow/rain that we had this week. But apparently REI doesn’t sell a “how to drive in inclement weather” product, so seattle-folks never learned. One winter out on the east coast and these Seattle-ites would either be stranded on the side of the road or too scared to leave their homes. Now is it too much to ask for a good 6 to 9 inches of snow by Christmas? I’m putting that on my Christmas list……

What’s your favorite color… is it RED?

June 26th, 2005

My red socks
Last night, we threw a RED party. Strangely, it was a lot more red than I expected. Between red foods, red drinks, red lights, and everything else we could make red, it was a grand ol’ time. People had to dress in red attire, which made it very interesting to see what people owned in their closet that was red. I went out and bought a shirt and socks, since I didn’t own much red. I didn’t go overboard with my costume… not like my bro-in-law Lee. His outfit had more ruffles than a bag of potato chips. I’ve put a bunch of pictures on my flckr site (on the right side of my blog). Lee has more pictures on his site if you’re interested.

We tried to make many different things, red. I even added red food coloring to spinach artichoke dip and made it turn a chunky neon pink. Needless to say, nobody could identify it as a dip and subsequently it didn’t move very well. Other things, such as Sachi’s red-velvet cake, was a great success. I guess only certain things look better with red food coloring. I debated adding red coloring to a gallon of milk, just to see what Lee and Sachi would say when they woke up this morning, but I chose not to….. aren’t I a good brother.

Summer solstice = Nude bicyclists?

June 18th, 2005

Solstice comes from the latin words, “sol” meaning sun and “sistere” meaning to stand still. Many religions celebrate it through serious intraspection and many believe it has pagen origins…. So where in the does it state in the solstice handbook that people celebrate the longest day of the year by riding around naked on bicycles? Well here in Seattle, the annual Fremont Summer Solstice Parade has that plus more “traditional” parade-type attractions (i.e. floats, bands, a 100-person belly dancing troupe, etc). Going to the parade was mostly for the novelty of the event and seeing the reactions from my friends who haven’t gone before. Saying some of them were shocked is putting it lightly. The rest of the parade was great. I even saw someone I knew walking around “clothed” on stilts. I think people can wear any weird costume and be included in this parade. Thank goodness this parade is only once per year. I only took a few pictures… all of non-naked parade people.
Fremont Parade