Thursday, August 31, 2006

3 days, 3 more mice

After a bit of a hiatus, Dirk has resumed his mice collection. I guess they're not all gone yet. Hopefully this might be the end, or at least the beginning of another hiatus. It's day 4 and still no sight of one today. Yet.

Lorien is busy finishing up her dissertation. Which is one of the reasons that we're here and I'm posting this now this week, and we're not at Burning Man. I'm a little sad at not being there this year, but I just don't think I could have properly handled it right now. I hope to be back next year.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Birthdays weekend

For a while now since moving into our house we've been having a monthly cocktail hour, usually on the first Thursday of every month, but sometimes moving around as convenient. This month we decided to move it to the following week, and on a Friday, so that it could double as an excuse to celebrate our birthdays. Yes, in case you don't already know, Lorien and I share the same birthday. We were both born on August 12. Although a few years apart...

We got a chance to put to use some of the knowledge we gained from planning a wedding. We loved the wedding cake so much, we decided to order birthday cakes from the same bakery. They were a bit on the small side for putting 37 and 29 candles on respectively, plus I suppose one more each for good luck, so we just settled on the good luck candles. Here we are blowing out the candles. And getting ready to cut the cake with our lovely cake cutter (thanks Maureen!) and serve it on our new dishes (thanks Larry and Sheryl!).

A little bit later in the evening some friends showed up with a 6-pack of champagne. I bet you didn't even know that you could buy champagne in a six pack. I sure didn't. And good stuff, too. Thanks Todd!

And here's Dirk busy doing one of the activities he loves best, just laying around relaxing. Although he's been a bit busy too, bringing us not one, but two mice, on back to back days. Kind of an early birthday present, I suppose. We had previously heard some squeaking coming from the far corner of the backyard, but we haven't heard anything in a while. Perhaps the surviving mice took the hint, decided that the yard of one of the few cats in the neighborhood wasn't the smartest place to make their home, and moved on.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Since we've been back, 3 of 3

We've been trying to make the time to cook a bunch since we've been back. Which has given us the opportunity to use many of the wonderful wedding gifts that we've received. We got a craving for steak and barbeque'd one weekend. And it turned out so good (I've concluded the secret to success is in the marinade) that in an uncharacteristic display of meat consumption, we decided to do it again and invite some friends over. Lorien would like me to point out that here we are enjoying our final bottle of Canadian wine from our cellar. Which means that when we're in Toronto in a couple of weeks Lorien is going to try to get some more.

And on the non meat front (which usually does a better job describing our habits) our garden is doing quite well. We're starting to harvest what promises to be an over abundance of tomatoes. Besides the several varieties that we planted, we have quite a few volunteers -- plants that just sprung up on their own after laying down compost. We've also learned that if you plant the root end of a stalk of green onions, you'll end up with another stalk. And while we missed what probably would have been one of the last edible artichokes for the season while we were on honeymoon, the plus side of that is that it turned into this amazing artichoke flower that you see here.

Since we've been back, 2 of 3

Less than 2 weeks after returning, we had the joy of going to someone else's wedding. Ben and RD were joined by their families and friends up in the hills in Tilden Park on July 15. It was another beautiful day, and Lorien and I rode our bikes. The pictures in this installment are from their wedding.

You may remember Ben and RD from our wedding. As the first of many couples getting married after us, Lorien presented them with her bouquet.

Other of our friends and family getting married in the coming year are Ben and Sara, Arnab and Alicia, and Scott and Kathleen. And also upcoming, but without precise dates, are Neal and Genevieve, and Roger and Vanessa. Apparently coupling is in.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Since we've been back, 1 of 3

We've been keeping busy since we've been back, although I have been a bit neglectful in posting. Sorry about that, I'll try to keep up with things a bit more.

Shortly after returning from honeymoon, Lorien got her EIT results. This is the Engineer in Training exam, a grueling 8 hour exam (14 hours if you count the ordeal from door to door) that Lorien wasn't too keen on having to repeat. And the good news is that she passed!

Lorien has been lately keeping busy writing her dissertation, which she hopes to finish up in the not too distant future, and have a little time off before she starts work at Carollo, an Engineering consultant firm in Walnut Creek, sometime this fall.

And I've settled back into the work routine, which wasn't nearly as difficult to adjust to as it was after the last time we went traveling. I'm currently working on a cell phone application of turn by turn driving instructions.

And we've both been enjoying the beautiful weather that we've been having here this summer. Maybe it was partially a month in the tropics that helped us adjust, although being by the coast probably helped too, but we enjoyed the warm weather of a few weeks past. It was comfortably warm here, not quite the sweltering heat wave seen in some further inland parts of California. We just got a wee bit into the low 90s F, not into the 100s, 110s, and 120s F.

One of the places that we suggested on our page of Local points of interest and things to do from the wedding web site was the Albany Bulb. I'm pleased that a few people actually took us up on the suggestion and went there. I'm a bit ashamed, howeverk, to admit in retrospect that although it's a place I had been meaning to visit for a long time, I had never actually been there personally, I had just heard a lot about it. (Lorien had been a few times.) Anyway, one of these past weekends we went for a walk there, and that's where these pictures are from. I call the last one "My heart between a diamond and a spade."