Sunday, September 23, 2007

Weekend Update

[I wrote this originally on Sunday night, but apparently it didn't post. Pretend it did.]

What a busy weekend! Friday night I met up with a group of friends to go to the Seattle Symphony Pops' Sci-Fi Concert. We met for dinner at Rock Bottom downtown beforehand and had a good dinner before heading over to Benaroya Hall for the concert. The concert was outstanding. The main focus of the concert was the music of John Williams, including much music from Star Wars and Superman, as well as selections from Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Harry Potter. Though not exclusively John Williams music, the show included music from the various Star Trek series, as well as a medley of themes from TV shows spanning the past 40 years, from The Twilight Zone to the X-Files, and many others inbetween.

The show included a "laser light show", which frankly I could have done without. It was somewhat interesting, but entirely unnecessary, and on the whole unimpressive and hokey. They could have taken the $1.99 they spent on the laser show and put it to better use elsewhere.

Additional features included George Takei, Mr. Sulu from the original Star Trek series, who was "narrator" but really only played a small role by providing a few anecdotes prior to the Star Trek theme medley, as well as narrating the opening into to Star Trek. While we would have liked to see a bit more of him, he still was a good addition. A featured soprano, complete in uniform, was the highlight of the Star Trek medley as she adeptly sang the wordless melody to Star Trek. Overall, an outstanding performance to one of the more packed houses I've seen at Benaroya.

Saturday I met up with Kristen, Mark, Annie and Adam in the afternoon before Cat and Aaron's wedding. The wedding was at 6pm at Cat's church over on Queen Anne. It was a very nice ceremony, about an hour long but didn't nearly feel that long. The reception was downtown at the Women's University Club, a very posh social hall down on 6th and Spring. I have to say the reception, in addition to being in one of the classiest settings for a wedding reception I've seen, was also one of the most smoothly run. An emcee kept the entire reception moving, and it all went splendidly and was a fun event with fun people.

Sunday was a good day to relax. I was considering being productive, but afterall decided to stay around, do some grocery shopping and laundry, then watched the first episode of Ken Burns' new The War documentary. Now for another week of work, well, 4 days at least before I take my weekend trip to Disneyland this coming weekend. Hopefully it's not a long 4-day week.

Monday, September 17, 2007

I am a blogging slacker!

You know how it is when you get out of the habit of doing something, you tend to forget about it completely. Yes, such is my blog. When I'm not on vacation, I tend not to remember to put anything interesting here. BUT... today I shall change that. Today is the first day of the rest of my blog. Or something.

Did you notice how in that entire first paragraph, I had a lot of words and almost zero information. That's space filler, folks. Now for a barrage of updates:
  • Since I never really wrapped up my last vacation blog... yes, I made it home from Upstate New York. I posted the last few pictures I had previously forgotten to upload. Really nothing other than some long plane riding adventures complete the trip blog, and I actually do have one final blog entry that I scribbled down on a piece of paper while sitting on the plane on the way home. I'll probably get that posted in the next couple of days.
  • Speaking of vacation, while posting the last of my vacation pictures, I also threw in some pictures from work I took one day when I happened to have my camera. Not too enthralling, but if you've ever wondered where I spend at least 40-hours a week, that can serve as a little glimpse into my world. Also on the topic of pictures, I still have a slew of pictures from Emily and Nathan's wedding in Yakima that I have yet to post. Maybe by their first anniversary I'll get around to that. Hmmm.
  • Speaking of weddings, yet another wedding in the "Year of a Million Weddings" continues this weekend with Cat and Aaron's wedding. Fortunately, this is one of the few that don't require me travelling long distances to go to. And this time, lots of people will be in town this weekend for the festivities. Plus, on Friday night myself and a bunch of friends are going to the Seattle Symphony for their Sci-Fi Concert featuring music as expected, plus a laser light show (in Benaroya Hall, that should prove interesting) and narration by none other than George Takei, whom I last saw at a Husky halftime show riding around in a cardboard USS Enterprise that made me fear for his safety. Hmmm... should be interesting.
  • Speaking of football, another season of Husky Football is once again upon us. After a 2-0 start to the season, the Dawgs had a sloppy game against Ohio State to come back to 2-1. Though overall, I'm not too disappointed about the game. We still look far better than any team that's taken the field the past several years, and good potential for a decent season.
  • Speaking of a decent season, another year of curling is fast approaching. That chilly pasttime that seems to consume at least 3-nights a week, 6-months out of my year, is back again. This will be my 3rd year of throwing rocks at houses, plus to add to the mayhem, I agreed to take over as the league manager for the Friday night league. That should actually be more fun than not, though of course, yet another thing to add to my plate of things to do.
  • Speaking of things to do, next weekend (after this one) I'm heading down to Disneyland for the weekend. I'm trying to squeeze out a bit of extra mileage out of my Annual Pass I got last October, and found next weekend to be the best time to do it. Not sure who else may show up as well... Amy may go down if she "has nothing better to do," and Heather may drive down from Encino to hang out with me for one of the days. But of course, it'll be fun no matter what. It's actually often easier to get around by myself, when all is said and done. :)
  • Speaking of being done, I think that's the last of my updates for now.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Lakes and Falls

Saturday brought about a good day to drive around and see part of the scenery around Rochester. We drove up to Sea Breeze, NY, which as the name might imply (and might not, for that matter) is right on Irondequoit Bay up on Lake Ontario. We did some letterboxing in a park nearby and then continued around to see (a very small part) of Lake Ontario.

Then we went to the DCA Drum Corps World Championships, right down the street at Paetec Park in Rochester. The DCA is apparently the level below the self-proclaimed "major league of drum corps" which is DCI. But it was fun to go watch. We heard some good bands, and saw some good performances.

Sunday we headed over to Buffalo and then up to Niagra Falls. The falls were spectacular. The funny part to me is how the American side of the falls is a state park, with lots of green landscape and trees, whereas the Canadian side of the falls is mass commercialization. We started at the Horseshoe falls on the U.S. side and proceeded to walk all the way around through the crowded Labor Day Weekend masses, to the American Falls, and over the bridge to Canada. Most of the pictures you see of the falls are all taken of the American Falls from the Canadian side. But once you cross into Canada you feel like you've walked onto the Las Vegas strip, with wall-to-wall stores, Hard Rock Cafe and Planet Hollywood, wax museum, well, every other tourist trap attraction you could imagine. Nice to see capitalism is alive and well in Canada. We walked past most of that and walked up the Canadian side of the river, then turned around and headed back where we came from. Noticing the final insult, a 50-cent toll to leave Canada and get back into the U.S., we made our way back and after spending about 4 hours exploring the falls, headed back home.

A note of warning to those viewing my online photo album: there are about 3 dozen pictures of Niagra falls, from all different angles. No, I don't expect anyone to think half of the pictures are any different from the other half of them, but hey, some turned out better than others, why be picky? :)

Monday was Labor Day, though having a holiday in the middle of a vacation doesn't really feel much different than anything else. Today we went to a minor league baseball game between the Rochester Red Wings (AAA-Minnesota) and the Buffalo Bisons (AAA-Cleveland) in Rochester. Yes, that's bisonS with an S on the end... apparently rules of plurality don't matter when it's a sports team. It was a fun game to go to, about 10,000 fans showed up for the final game of the season, where neither team had any chance of making it to the playoffs, but the home team Red Wings were victorious 8-5.

After we returned we had dinner with some friends of the Gingras' from their church. And now it's time to wind down and get things ready to head home tomorrow night. It's been a nice vacation, but it's about time to head home, me thinks. Hopefully my airport adventures aren't too adventurous either.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Rochester to Syracuse

The day started with what you're supposed to do on vacation, sleep until you can't sleep any more. So that's what we all did. Once we got up in the morning, er, afternoon, Andrew and I headed over to the George Eastman House. As the name implies, it was Eastman's mansion he built in Rochester with all his money he made from the Kodak company. A slightly eccentric, slightly insane person, if you ask me, he had lots of pretty crazy ideas. But he also was a big fan of music and, well, photography obviously. His mansion, however, was like walking though a real life game of Clue. Every time I went into a room, I half expected to see a dead body on the floor. Fortunately, we did not find any. Nor did we find any secret passages, which I have to say was quite a disappointment. There was also a special exhibit of Ansel Adams photography. While some of that was interesting, I have to say that of all art forms, photography is probably the least thrilling to me. But it was still an interesting place to visit.

After that we walked back to Andrew's parents place, and got ready to head out to Syracuse for the football game. It took a good 2 hours to get out there, both with the traffic, waiting at the I-90 toll booths (yes, it seems wrong to me too), and passing by the New York State Fair which was going on just outside of Syracuse. We made it through the sea of orange everywhere and pulled into a parking garage, we made our way up towards the Carrier Dome, walking past the Sheraton where the UW Warm-Up party was. The band had just played and was hanging out on the lawn just past so we stopped and said hi to the few remaining people we knew, as well as Brad and the crew. We made our way across the Syracuse campus, which is actually quite a nice campus, and over to the Carrier Dome for the game.

The Carrier Dome reminds me of the Kingdome, in as much as it's a big, round, cement monstrosity with a domed roof. OK, so not quite as big, but still a monstrosity. But we found our seats, near the back of the UW section, just behind and to the side of the UW Band. The game was quite an adventure, but a rousing success with a 42-12 UW victory. Looks like some good potential for the UW season, now we'll just have to see how we do against Boise State and Ohio State in the next two weeks. Some of the non-game highlights were watching the Syracuse fans filter out and become virtually non-existant by the time the game was over. Before the game started, the Husky legend, the Dawgfather himself, Don James, comes and takes his seat in the UW section, as thunderous applause comes from the rest of the Husky fans in attendance. Though apparently, Real Dawgs Wear Yellow, as DJ decided to wear a canary yellow polo. :) I guess he can wear whatever he wants.

The band made quite a post-game performance to a vastly empty Carrier Dome, as the UW fans started to filter out. Syracuse's band wasn't much to be impressed by, at least by Husky Band standards. Though Syracuse band members seemed to enjoy the Husky Band's post-game performance too, as they watched on.

After the game, it was another 2-hours or so getting back to Rochester, with a late night stop at McDonalds for some much needed food. Then much sleep ensued. All in all, a highly successful day of vacation.