Saturday, May 16, 2009

Go Magic: Back to Boston - Game 7!

Thursday night (after picking up Luna) we went to see Game 6 in the Celtic/Magic playoff series. My employer has a Suite at the Amway Arena, and despite several previous invitations, I was finally able to make one - and we picked the right one to go to.

The weird thing about Amway Arena, besides the sponsorship of a multi-level marketing company, is that the Suite Level is at the top of the arena. The free food and drinks, made up for the view.

The Magic, lead by Dwight Howard, beat the C's by 8 and forced a game 7 back in Boston. It is truly "Win or Go Home" now. Go Magic!

New Additions to the Family

This week, Lisa and I welcomed a new addition to our family. After months of searching and endless comparisons, we decided to bite the bullet and drink the Kool Aid that is being a Mac Owner. For my birthday Lisa bought me an iPod touch that I cannot get enough of. Little did we realize that is was only the gateway drug to more addictive behavior - buying a 24" iMac. Now that we are part of the cool kids, I feel so liberated and hip, I bought some skinny jeans and a bright purple hoodie. Heck, I may even vote Democrat in next year's mid-term election.

We also added another player to the squad.

World, meet Luna Lovegood!

Luna, we think, is a Puggle - a Pug/Beagle mix. It also means she doesn't practice magic. According to Wikipedia, they are very popular, despite the fact that I have never heard of them. We also found out that there are several famous Puggle owners - Uma Thurman, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Sly Stallone just to name a few. So you combine a Puggle with the Mac, our coolness quotient has completely sky-rocketed. We got her from the Orlando rescue shelter on Thursday. She is a sweet dog that loves to play with Boo. We hope that she will help keep him young. My favorite part of Luna is her little underbite. It makes her look mighty ferocious.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

My Parents are from Laos

It's not every day, someone you know is featured on the front page of the Seattle Times website.

Monday, March 30, 2009

LHS Class of '92

This is Taichi. We went to high school together our senior year. He was attending Lynnwood High School as an exchange student from Japan. After high school he stuck around the area and eventually opened two restaurants in Fremont. Not that I am jealous or anything, but he was just nominated for a James Beard Award as the Best Chef in the Northwest. So while Lisa and I were in Seattle for Alicia's wedding, we met up for lunch. While I have eaten at his restaurant, Chiso, on numerous occasions, I have not seen him since we graduated. It was great to spend some time together and catch up. As we were talking (and eating) I couldn't help but feel some obvious regret that we had not kept in touch. Hopefully we will both make the efforts to remain in contact. And in case you are wondering and you like sushi, one does not get nominated for a James Beard Award by serving bad sushi - I highly recommend anything on the menu.

This is Katie, Heidi and Andrea. I also graduated from Lynnwood High School with them. They were at Alicia's wedding a couple of weeks ago. I did not attend my 10 year reunion, so this was the closest thing to that. Actually, I saw all three of them about 5 years ago, so it hadn't been that long. It's amazing how time has just flown by. So while they may not own award winning sushi restaurants, they were pretty influential in how I turned out 17 years later. They were/are great friends, and it was nice to be able to spend some with them as well, catching up after all of these years.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

My Side of the Story

A couple of weeks ago, Lisa and I flew back to Seattle for Alicia's wedding. While were not enthusiastic about leaving the warm Florida weather to the land of the endless winter, we were really looking forward to spending time with family and friends. Including examples of both that we have not seen in quite some time. Apparently the morning we arrived, it snowed. Luckily for us, it was gone by the time the plane landed. Had we seen it, we would have promptly got back on the plane.

After a couple of days in Lynnwood, we headed up to Leavenworth for some QAT prior to the eventual madhouse that was to come. Prior to this trip I have never spent any significant amount of time in Leavenworth. Upon entering town, you will notice a theme. And if you don't notice it off the bat, the polka music ringing through the town, may be a clue. Leavenworth is decorated like a quaint Bavarian town in the mountains. In this case, the Cascade Mountains about 30 miles east of Stevens Pass. Our main plan was to hit Stevens Pass for a day on the slopes, but we got a late start on Tuesday and decided to head straight to Leavenworth.

After walking around town checking out the shops, we decided to blend in like the locals. Not too many opportunities for a grander hot chocolate in sunny Orlando. As far as dining recommendations go - definitely hit Pavz Creperie and Los Camperos in Leavenworth. While you might be lured into one of their many German restaurants, you won't be disappointed with either of these two places. Especially the dessert crepes from Pavz.
The view from our condo looking into our condo.
Wednesday was spent at Stevens Pass. Those photos are on Lisa's camera, which is conveniently in Uganda right now. So look forward to more pictures when Lisa gets back home.

A (Lisa and Jacob) Farrar Family apres-ski tradition - Zeke's Drive-in on Highway 2 in Gold Bar.
So on Thursday and Friday, besides watching NCAA College Basketball, the day was spent getting ready for the wedding. I didn't get too many photos of the reception, just the most important parts - the cupcakes.
While each flavor of cupcake was pretty tasty, the next day several of us decided to improvise a bit. The raspberry icing on the chocolate cupcake was the best combination.

This scowl was not directed toward me.

When Lisa and I got married, it was pouring down rain, and we didn't get any photos out in front of the temple. All of our photos were taken underneath the front portico. So we figured while the sky was clear and we were all prettied up, might as well take advantage of it.

Leah and Aidan were completely mesmerized by this statue in front of the temple. I have about a dozen more shots of them playing on it, including Leah singing "ring-around-the rosy."

Monday, March 02, 2009

BOAR 2009

Several years go I became really interested in participating in adventure sports - mountain biking, trail running, adventure racing. Not as a competitor, but as a spectator. Becoming a spectator at these types of events would allow me to combine some of my favorite things - the outdoors, competition, and photography. Several months ago, I got an email from my favorite outdoor store here in Orlando advertising an adventure race put on by Pangea Adventure Racing. The outdoor store, Travel Country, is the main sponsor of all of their events.

For those that don't know what adventure racing is, it combines the 3 elements of running, mountain biking, and paddling. It is usually done in teams and is measured in hours instead of distance. In May, there will be a 72-hour race from the east coast of Florida to the west coast. The race involves checkpoints rather than just a start and a finish. In order to complete the race and get the maximum number of points, it is necessary to hit all the checkpoints and not lose one's punch card. There is also the element of orienteering. All participants are given a map and they must navigate the quickest route to each checkpoint.

So, back to the email. I go this email advertising a race and a point series here in Central Florida and I thought I might as well check it out. This race on Saturday was the BOAR (Best Orlando Adventure Race) , with the Elite Series being 6 hours and the Sport only 3. It was held out in Christmas, about 30 miles from where we live on a wetlands park designated for trail running and mountain biking. Add the lake in the middle and you have yourself a formula for fun. Shortly after I got there, I met Mark Miller, a photographer who has been shooting adventure races in Central Florida for the last 5 years. He was very informative, and didn't care that I was invading his turf. He let me hang out with him throughout the entire race. His photos of the BOAR can be found here. I am definitely looking forward to the next race in April. This will be a 30 hour race for the Elite racers, with the race going all night into the next day. I have more photos posted here.

You will notice that most photos during the paddle section that the racers are portaging their boats - the water was so shallow it was almost impossible to paddle. It was faster to just pull the boats.