Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ho ho ho (part 2 of n)

Once again, we participated in SantaCon (aka Santarchy), on December 14, 2008.

Lorien and Rich reprised their same roles as last year. Unlike last year (but like all other years), SantaCon was entirely in SF this year. But it has grown big enough that it started out as three separate contingents. We opted for the "classic" route starting at Fisherman's Wharf. All three contingents eventually united with each other.

It was kind of cold at times, but thankfully for the most part dry. Personal highlights included the Hasidic Santa klezmer band, Santa dancing to a recording of Adam Sandler's Hannukkah Song in front of the Contemporary Jewish Museum, and Santa politely rampaging through the Westfield Mall.

For more pictures, go to our web site.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Turkey Days...

A flock of six wild turkeys has made itself at home near my office building since earlier in the fall. They mostly mill around the parking lot, road, and front door of the building, eating the landscapers’ primroses. They’re not in the least bit scared of humans or cars. In my opinion, they’re really taking their chances given the time of year, the state of the economy, and the relative dearth of vegetarians in Walnut Creek.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


We had a fun Thanksgiving visiting Florida. We stayed with Dave and Carol around Ft. Lauderdale -- Carol is expecting in March but managed to find the energy to host Thanksgiving dinner. Ben and Sara drove up from Miami with baby Chloe, and Elaine and Bill came down from New York.

While we were in the vicinity of warm waters, we managed to get our advanced scuba certification. We had originally gotten certified on our first visit to Thailand, in 2003. The motivation to do something a bit more came from our visit last fall to Israel and Egypt. At the most well known site in the vicinity of where we went diving in Egypt (the Blue Hole), local dive shops would only take divers with advanced certification.

Other than having to do some reading and excercies in advance, the certification basically consisted of 5 dives over 2 days, each highlighting one aspect in particular (wreck dive, deep dive, night dive, navigation, peak performance buoyancy). It was fun, the weather was good, and the visibility was very good. Although most of the rest of the people on the diving boats seemed to be locals who didn't feel the weather was as warm and balmy as we did. A bunch of them had gloves and hoods (we just wore full wetsuits), and felt the need to put on wool caps at the surface.

Last weekend we hosted our annual holiday beer tasting cocktail hour on Friday, and Lorien's company holiday party was on Saturday. And this coming weekend is SantaCon.