Tuesday, September 15, 2009


20090914IMG_4119There's something wrong with me. I know this for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which being the subtle indicator which is a dearth of restful sleep, and a sudden excess of migraine symptoms. Tomorrow I will be precisely one week away from heading south to OIT, away from my lovely wife and toward a minimum of four years of study, hopefully to be followed by a brand new career. The anticipation is simply killing me, to the point where I've been intermittently fantasizing about heading down early and simply camping in the area just to finally be there, even though I would have less than nothing to do. I don't have anything clever or insightful to say on this subject; rather, I am simply abusing you all as a tiny outlet for some of this frustration. Normal updates here will probably resume later today, if my head cooperates. Thanks for understanding, and listening.

- J

P.S. The pic of Mei Mei above does not represent anything in particular... it's just the best pic I've taken of her so far, I think, and I had to share.

Monday, September 7, 2009

A great week

20090901IMG_3127The week started off nicely, having dinner with Bob and Fara, whom Eden first met back in her bank days. They're a really great couple, always pleasant and positive. It'd been quite a while since we'd seen them, perhaps even as long as since our wedding, mostly due to the fact that they both work and our own location outside of Portland. Nonetheless, we had a very nice time with them.

20090902IMG_320820090903IMG_3223The next day offered few surprises, other than a bloody huge spider visiting our room. Mostly we just took the day easy, although I had a chance to play with a few long exposure night photos that evening before the rain hit. Believe it or not, that shot of the playground was taken just short of midnight with no auxiliary lighting. I'm going to have a lot of fun with this kind of thing once I get the hang of it, I think.

20090903IMG_326220090903IMG_3287On Thursday we headed to the coast and north, just to get out of the house and try to spend as much quality time together as we can before it's time for me to go. The drive was beautiful, but offered few photographic opportunities, mostly due to few parking areas along the way. We ended up at Grayland State Park for the evening, just a bit south of Westport, where Eden reminded me of just why I love her so very much. After returning from dinner at an excellent place called Bennett's, we happened across two young ladies we'd observed on the road several hours before. As it turns out, Anastasia and Julia were biking from San Francisco to Canada (day 48 of their trip at the time we encountered them). Since we already had a campsite set up and firewood, Eden decided to offer to share. It was an incredibly pleasant way to spend an evening, and it was quite inspiring to hear them talk about their trip and discoveries, not to mention watch them cook dinner with such incredible familiarity. Despite the night being nearly pitch black, they set up in mere moments. To be perfectly honest, I'm truly hoping that they'll drop us a line once their trip is done, because they were very personable. I also tried a few more long exposure shots that evening - you'll notice that by sheer chance I happened to get an owl in frame on the shot to the right - didn't see him at all in the dark.

20090905IMG_337020090905IMG_3389Most of the day Saturday was taken up rebuilding our friend Jess' computer and meeting her two new kittens, Wednesday and Pugsly. Being kittens, they were of course unbearably cute pretty much the entire time. We also had the chance to try out one of our newest aquisitions, Star Trek Scene-It, which was much harder than we anticipated, even with nearly everyone being huge fans of the various series. Go figure - this one is made for the uber geeks.

20090906IMG_346420090907IMG_3601We spent the rest of the weekend caring for Bob and Fara's dog, Zelda, which was fun as well, even with most of the time being rainy. We'd hoped to be able to take her up to the dog park in Washington, but it was not to be. I did get the chance to take her up on a nearby nature trail during one of the few breaks though, so that was nice.

20090907IMG_373620090907IMG_3855Finally, we spent a good chunk of today visiting with our friends Alyson and Marjorie, as well as meeting their new kittens, Ziva and Romey, as well as their other 12 cats - always an adventure. It's also not a bad thing that they share our addiction to Munchkin, and make quite decent opponents.

2009-09-07 Picdump [Show images on map] [Fullscreen slideshow]

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Tasty Bread!

Original Challah Recipe


This past Monday we had a chance to have dinner with our friends Fara and Bob to set up for taking care of their dog, Zelda. In preparation, I decided to try a recipe that I've been anticipating for quite a long time, Challah. Not having the religious background, I'd never had a chance to sample the stuff, but I've heard how good it is for a very long time. I've got to say, I was really pleased with the results, after I made two small changes to the recipe. Firstly, since the recipe as written ended up a bit wet, I changed the flour from 5 cups total to just under 6, and I added about a teaspoon of brown sugar to the final egg wash to add a slightly sweet tinge. It seemed to be very well recieved - if you get a chance, try some!