Thursday, December 29, 2005

Winter Breaks

It's been a trying holiday season.

We lost two of our ferrets to a freak accident involving the biggest spider I've ever seen outside of a zoo.

I couldn't catch a flush in Tahoe without someone drawing to a full house from two pair. I made second best hand more times than I could count. Played the odds appropriately, but the calling stations kept catching their inside straight draws and back door flushes.

When we arrived in Tahoe, there was hardly any snow on the ground. The only thing falling from the sky was rain. Kirkwood still had some snow, even if it was a man made thin pack. I started slowly, regaining my balance. On our second day out, I was practicing my turns, when I realized that though I had been picking up the inside ski when I turn I hadn't been pushing off with the outside ski. After making this realization, I was suddenly able to go down the black diamonds much faster as I was sure that I would be able to slow myself down if the texture of the snow stayed the same. Coming off of a run from the Reut, I moved left to avoid someone sitting in the middle of the run. I hit a patch of Ice, lost my balance and keeled over, with the back of my right ski catching the ground and pulling my boot out with a quick jerk. I knew immediately that something had happened to my right foot, but I hoped it was just a sprain as I wasn't in screaming pain (thank you adrenaline). However, the x-rays confirmed it was a break, just in time for me to watch the first flakes of snow start falling outside. Talk about crummy timing.

Finally, we were on our way out of Tahoe. I had my broken ankle on the dashboard and I was calling Kelle to see how the pets were doing. Then right after Lexi starts a left turn after our light turned green, we're hit in the side by an Audi, whose drivers must have been looking at the wrong light as they had started forward as well. Nobody in either car accrued any new injuries thankfully. However our driver side door won't open anymore so our car will be in the shop for a while.

Despite everything that happened, we still had a lot of fun. We went out to the Edgewood restaurant, which is right along the lake. I had Elk chops in a dried cherry gravy which was delicious and Lexi had a steak in a port reduction that was also very good. Even on the day I broke my ankle, I still made it to our massage appointments and dinner reservations at the Summit, which continues to impress me with it's displays of culinary skill. What little of the season I got to ski, I enjoyed completely. My only regret is that I will not be able to ski again until spring. And last but not least, the elevator is no longer an over the top frill, but a
necessary tool. So Silver linings do abound.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Andrew gets a cast for xmas

On the first day of christmas I broke my ankle skiing, and got a bottle of vicodin.
On the second day of christmas my doctor gave to me, two titanium pins in a speedy half hour surgery.

Not more than half a day after I learned how to make my turns a lot tighter and faster, I hit a patch of ice at the bottom of the Reut at Kirkwood and brake my ankle. I like to think of it as my little christmas present to myself. I'll be off my leg and out of work for about 6-8 weeks. Normally such a break would be a lot of fun, but I can't stand being sedentary for too long. Until I'm all healed up and back to work, I would appreciate any visits from any kind souls here in SF looking to watch movies, play games or just hang out.

Snow Bunnies

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Friday, December 23, 2005

I'm Dreaming of a...

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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Goodbye Yoda and Lando

Last night, we were showing Kelle and Amelia around as they had kindly offered to take care of the cat and the ferrets while we are away in Tahoe. When we got to the garage, there was this giant brown spider, about an inch and a half from leg to leg. When we looked in on the ferrets, we found Yoda and Lando dead. We weren't sure what had happened because none of the ferrets had seemed sick the night before. We decided to move Gkar and Clyde up to the livingroom in their cage just in case there was something in the room that made Yoda and Lando sick. When we moved the cage we found another huge spider. I guess the spider had snuck into the garage and gone to the closet for a warm dark place to hide. Then Yoda and Lando, who have always been very curious, went to check out the spider and got bitten. The fact that we found them far away from their sleeping areas in strange positions, seems to support this. I'm going to try to find a vet to check out Clyde and Gkar just to make sure they aren't sick, but they seem as active as ever, so I'm not too worried about them.



Yoda was always a sweet, shy schnookum. She and Bonnie were always the smartest. They would play hide the treat with each other, each one stealing the other's favorite chew toy and hiding it in a new corner. Even though she was our smallest schnook, she was an agile climber and could get into most anything. She will be missed.


Lando was a big, bouncy schnook. He and Gkar would do laps around the table, pouncing each other or any other schnook, toy, foot, blanket, etc. that was in their way. He was so sad, when he thought his brother Gkar had gone missing, but as soon as they were reunited after Gkar was found under our neighbors porch, they were right back to horseplaying. He will be missed.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Happy Holidays

This has been the busiest holiday season ever for us. I knew that moving to the city would make us more active, but I didn't expect our social calendars to fill up so fast. There's been something to do nearly every weekend and even Tuesday and Thursday nights are starting to fill up. Here are some highlights.

Mike Patton Movie Night - Agi got to stalk her man. Then Jesse was kind enough to take us all to her house on treasure island which has a great view of downtown San Francisco.

Kanye West - After a much needed fashion intervention by Amelia (I'm all Rocaweared out now), we hopped in the limo. Lexi and I had never rode in a limo before. The ride was almost as good as the concert. Kanye was incredible. He interrupted the intro to Golddigger to demand that everyone in the VIP booths turn off their TVs. "I'm not gonna have you up there going, oh it's Kanye live, but what's the score for the game." There was hardly a song I didn't know the words to and dancing up in the stands with everybody was a blast.

Holiday Party Extravaganza Weekend - Lexi and I booked it down the peninsula for her friend's party. They have a great house. Craftsman style with a sunken livingroom. They served these great Ahi Teriyaki hors devours. Then we headed back to the city where we went to Christophe and Tessas party and discussed the future of media distribution until the wee hours of the night.

Moving Mattpaul - Matty P is finally in the city. He's got a great place with a view of the bay bridge. The livingroom at his new place is a minefield of musical instruments, as it should be. After moving him in, everyone who helped move him in came to sunday night dinner, our best turnout ever, around 20 people. I made two lasagnas and both disappeared quickly.

Sunday Dinners - We're trying to keep the Sunday dinner tradition we had with Keith alive in the city. We typically get around 6-8 people and occasionally more. Our new kitchen has motivated us to cook a lot more often. I've discovered that I cook like a mother of 2 from the flyover. I've been very caserrole-centric. But the enchiladas and lasagnas have turned out well. And Lexi's roast this last weekend was delicious, though we do need a new temperature probe. We haven't actually eaten out as much as we expected. With such a great supermarket nearby and a huge kitchen to play in, we end up staying at home more often. It's good for the pocketbook anyhow.

Hiking - I have spent most Wednesdays and Fridays out hiking. I've hit Buena Vista Park, Mt. Davidson, Twin Peaks, and the northern edge of Golden Gate. I'm starting to fill up my iMac hard drive with pics. I've been taking about 1.2 gigs of pictures each trip. Good thing I invested in a ton of DVDs. I haven't even started to run out of places to go. It's been great exercise and as long as it's not raining, I'm going again tomorrow. Probably to the shopping district to pick up some last minute gifts. And to catch some candid, slice of life holiday shots.

Portluck - We went down the peninsula again for portluck (a port wine potluck). It was a great chance to see all the techers in the area that we don't regularly see. There was an incredible 25 year old port. It had mellowed to the point that the caramel and chocolate flavors were not overpowered by the tannins and sharp fruits.

The Nut House - Jeanette was in town so we all went down to hang out with Sam and the Palo Alto crowd at the nut house. It was nice to catch up with everyone. It seems the grad student life tends to lend people an air of stoicism. The rigid meritocracy of academia seems a lot like the military when you watch people run themselves ragged under the yoke of their privileged professors all in the hopes of replacing them someday and putting a whole new batch of grad students through the same trials.

Emperor Norton - The legendary, visionary nutcase who predicted the bay bridge long before it's time has a musical now. It was hilarious. There was everything you want from a play on the mission, including , slapstick, slapping, and singing dogs. We all had a blast watching the play, after stopping for some Emperor Norton beer at the San Francisco Brewing Company. My favorite line from the play is when Emperor Norton Reprises his opening speech at the end, "People come to San Francisco to become a new person, or atleast a different version of the old person they are. Not many people succeed, but We did."

I think that covers almost all of it. I realize that I'm a binge blogger now as this is almost a month's backlog of posts. But it's a good sign when you're too busy living life to blog it right away.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Pics from Mount Davidson Hike



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Pics from Mattpaul's Move In



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matttpaulmovein2's photosMore of matttpaulmovein2's photos







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Pics from Golden Gate Hike



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Monday, December 12, 2005

CM takes over the dining room

CM is getting comfy and shedding all over the dining rooms chairs.