Saturday, June 2, 2007

Friday Night XXX Action

K has a description and some pictures from our recent XXX adventure (from our visit to XXX Root Beer Drive-In, you pervert!). The root beer was good -- definitely better than any other root beer I've ever had. The food was okay; it was very greasy, but it was otherwise average. It was all the way over in Issaquah, though, so I don't think I'd go there just for a mug of root beer (and obviously not just for the food), but I could see myself going back on a special occasion to try a root beer float for dessert.

The wait staff were very nice; as an example, I saw them pat some customers on the back as they left, and it didn't look like it was an annoying breach of personal space. It looked more like an act you'd see in a small-town diner, despite it not being in a small town. Overall, I was happy with my introduction to the world of XXX.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

March In Review

I did a couple things in March that deserve a mention.

First, I went to a kangaroo farm.

I had no idea there were kangaroos outside of zoos in the US! They had wallabies, kangaroos, emus, peacocks, chickens, donkeys, llamas, and a mini horse. For the most part, you get to pet, feed, and otherwise interact with them; not so much for the emu, though. The various creatures in the kangaroo family were very cute and very gentle, even when eating out of your hand. We even got to see/feed/pet a mother carrying a joey in her pouch. The llamas were trained to eat food pellets out of your mouth, too. I tried once, but the llama ignored me, which is really fine by me =) I did get several pictures and videos of other people feeding them that way, though. At the end, we all got to hold a baby kangaroo/wallaby; so cute!

The second thing of note was going on a chocolate factory tour with J&K.

J wrote all about it in his food blog, so I won't get into it too much here. Needless to say, it was interesting and fun, and the chocolate was oh, so good. I had to buy some when I went to visit my family so they, too, could experience the deliciousness that is Theo Chocolate.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

February In Review

  • Went to Ignite Seattle with K&J. Interesting approach, where each speaker has 20 slides that they can show for 15 seconds each, resulting in a 5-minute presentation. It was crowded but turned out okay.
  • Started alpha-testing J's new book site, Bookton.
  • Regarding the couple items I had left to do from my last post, I did replace the few regular light bulbs in my house that remain on for any real length of time with CFLs, but I did not get a low-flow shower head. So, I went 1-1 there. I don't like to lose, so I will go look for one tomorrow.
  • I was thinking it would be nice to volunteer once a month this year, but I didn't volunteer last month. I was avoiding volunteering for Seattle Park and Rec again because it seems like the easy way out to just default to a place that I can go to at the last minute with no advanced planning. Then again, the couple times I started to look, I couldn't find anything I wanted to do. I'm going to modify my goal. I'd like to average one volunteer event per month this year. So, now I'm behind and need to catch up.
  • I have stopped reading RSS feeds on a daily basis. There are certain activities that I engage in every once and a while that have a really low value-to-time-consumed ratio, and reading feeds regularly is one of them. I try to avoid these things when I become aware of them, so, at least for now, regular feed reading is out. I still check certain (usually low-volume) feeds on occasion, though.
  • Finished a book: I enjoyed it. It's a collection of essays, and I especially liked an essay called, "We Need Less School, Not More," wherein the author talks about, among other things, the difference between networks and communities. It really resonated with me. I've tended to avoid networks because they've usually not felt "good," and I think the author does a great job of identifying just why that might be.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Getting My Green On

I watched An Inconvenient Truth over the weekend, and it points people to, which has a page about what you can do at home to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I went through the list and identified some of their suggestions that were applicable to me. I decided to look into / think about:

  1. Using cold water to wash my clothes. Started doing this.
  2. Switching 100% of my home electricity over to clean, renewable energy. Done.
  3. Installing an insulation blanket around my water heater. It turns out this isn't necessary because I purchased a water heater in the last 5 years, and it's cold to the touch, which is apparently a sign that I wouldn't benefit much from an insulation blanket.
  4. Installing a low-flow shower head in my shower.
  5. Replacing all my regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). I already use some CFLs, but I could do better.
  6. Using a clothes line instead of a dryer. This is how my clothes were dried while I was in China, but I don't think I'm ready to make that a regular habit here.

So, a new shower head and new light bulbs are what I have left to do from my list, and I'm committed to getting those done this month. Doing #2 felt good, and having the option to do that is something I love about Seattle. I'd urge everyone to watch the movie and decide for yourself if you think there's a problem, and if so, whether you are comfortable with your contribution to the solution/problem.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Books, Geography, Basketball, Movies, Todo

We won our last basketball game and lost the one before that, bringing us to 4-4. Both were good games for me. Last game, I jumped out of bounds to save the ball, throwing it backwards in the hope that the ball would end up the hands of my team, only to hit one of my teammates in the face and give her a bloody nose. I felt terrible =( It wasn't broken, though, so that's good.

I had to return a book to the library last week before I finished it, making it the second of its kind in as many months. I put another hold on it, but it could be months before it gets back to me. I might have to go finish it at Barnes and Noble or something. In a way, maybe it was a good thing because I won't write about it until I finish it, and I want to start linking my book posts to J's new book site that isn't quite ready for release yet. Hurry, J!

I've been slowly learning more geography. After learning all the countries on all the continents, I've moved on to European capitals and mostly have them down. I used to run through a study list a few times a week when I was learning countries, but I haven't been doing that recently. I need to get into that habit again. As with countries, I'll do African capitals last; maybe I'll learn Asian capitals next. I need to remember to continue reviewing everything I've learned so far, too.

Over the last week or so, I watched The Illusionist and Pan's Labyrinth. Both were good, though the latter was less about the labyrinth than I originally thought it would be and wasn't about Pan at all.

I have a growing list of things that need to be done. The fairly recent wind storm damaged various sections of the fence around my yard, so I need to deal with that. The fence was poorly made to begin with, so some of the options are: build a new fence all together (expensive), fix the sections that were damaged (less expensive but then I've still got a crappy fence), or get rid of the fence and use some sort of greenery to act as a barrier. Some time this year, I also want to look into replacing at least some of my carpet and re-painting my house. J mentioned pergo as an alternative to carpet, so I'll look into that, too. I need to figure out where to volunteer next, as well. Well? Get to it!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Basketball, Board Games, Spam Greylisting

Lost our basketball game last week, bringing us down to 3-3. We beat this team before, and we should have won this time, but we just weren't shooting well (IMO).

I was re-gifted a board game called Evolution for Christmas, and I took it to a "game night" hosted by some friends last weekend. A couple people said it was their new favorite game, and it was enthusiastically called, "Game of the Night." Perfect re-gift!

After hearing a friend singing the praises of greylisting, I implemented it on my mail server. I've had great results so far. I've only received a handful of spam in the last few days, and spam assassin has caught most of those. The downside is that the first email you get from every legitimate sender is delayed for a while, but once the source re-sends it, the sending address is whitelisted and not delayed again. It was definitely worth the 5-10 minutes it took to set up.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Your Kung Fu Is Good

Kung Fu Grindhouse is their name, and watching bad kung fu movies is their (drinking) game. I was late in meeting up with T and M, so I missed the beginning of Eight Diagram Pole Fighter. I did catch all of Avenging Eagle, though. If I had to pick a favorite (bad kung fu movies aren't really my thing -- I was there for the social value), I suppose it would have been E.D.P.F. Part of the drinking game involved someone playing a gong every time you were supposed to drink, which got annoying after about the first ten *gongs*. Those playing the game were apparently supposed to drink, among other times, whenever someone died, which, in a non-kung fu movie, might be the equivalent of having to drink every time someone on screen completed a sentence.