Blogrolls seem so 2009. Remember when we used to have those “You blogroll me and I’ll blogroll you” conversations? Yeah, me neither. But I’m not yet ready to follow WordPress’s lead and jettison my links altogether; it would be like throwing away an old address book. Yes, I keep my old address book. There are dead people in that address book.
That doesn’t mean I’m going to keep links to defunct blogs. I tossed out any blog that hasn’t been updated in the last six months, and I tossed out folks whom I haven’t heard from in years. What’s left is a pretty slender list.
Here, have a sea cucumber. Or slug. Who knows?
Which all begs the question: does anyone read blogs anymore?
Dessert photos, decent pic of my son, fat pic of yours truly below the fold.
Some thoughts on this vacation and vacations in general, in no particular order:
* If you’re in the predicament of being in San Diego on a weekday and you need to go north, past LA, then leaving mid-day (around 11 AM) and pressing up the 405 works well. I would estimate we lost only around 10 minutes to traffic, mostly from the usual 10-405 snogfest.
* It is in fact possible to see the San Diego Zoo in one day. We did not waste time with the bus tour, which looked to be more annoying than anything else (wait wait I wanted to actually LOOK at the elephants, slow down, nooooooo). We saw everything but the aviary and the pandas, and did it in about 6.5 hours.
* There was a huge line for the pandas, no line at all for the koalas. Stuffed animal manufacturers, please take note. Anyway, it was the line that put us off, adorable as pandas must surely be.
* I wonder if anyone has ever done a study to discover the best time to visit a zoo. It seems like the animals are always sleeping. We had the most fun with the grizzly bears, who were in a playful mood, chasing each other around the habitat and even to an adjacent habitat (through a communicating tunnel), forcing about two dozen humans to run thirty or forty feet to watch them in the second area, only to have to run back when the bears themselves doubled back. I’m not sure what bear laughter sounds like, but I suspect it sounds much the same as the noises they make when running after one another.
It’s not fat. It’s poor posture.
* There’s always just enough annoyance about vacations to make you glad it’s over. “Staycation” is kind of a dumb portmanteau, but the basic thought is correct: you’re likely to be happiest and most relaxed at home. But you can only play so much World of Warcraft before your mind starts to go, right? Right?
We had our quarterly face-to-face Chiefs meeting down in Pasadena today, so I took the opportunity to have dinner with my sister. Shot I took of her was one of them candid photos, so I don’t think she’d appreciate me reproducing it here. My photo, on the other hand, was not half bad.
We ate at Continental Burger. The waiter claimed he remembered me “from 20 years ago.” Why? “Because you have such a beautiful face.” He also claimed to have worked at Continental Burger for fifty years. We weren’t sure what to make of him, but he seemed harmless enough. Occurs to me only now that I should have posed in a photo with him, my old pal from 20 years ago.
I’m having trouble using Gimp to make my file size smaller. I used to use Paint Shop Pro for this, but PSP came close to killing my laptop. So I’m stuck with Gimp, I guess. Anyway, just my way of apologizing if this takes a while to load.
As I have mentioned, I could have spent several hundred dollars on Photoshop, but the ambient wisdom of the Internets suggested Gimp (freeware) was every bit as good, if not better, since it’s not a resource hog like Photoshop.
Here’s a cute trick (see tutorial here) employed on one of my favorite pictures of my son, shown here at age 12:
Compare to the original:
Not quite as dramatic a change as the examples given in the Gimp tutorial, but then I’m not an amazing photographer. But I’d love to see what Dean could do with this stuff.
But we try. Jake almost pulls it off; if only I could get him to wear Levi’s instead of shorts . . .
But I’m just some old bald guy in a denim jacket.
I used to wonder how my parents could handle the fact that their kids were aging. We don’t look a thing like we did back in the 60s and 70s. Well, I don’t. But as Jake gets older, I’ve come to realize that for the parents, it’s easy. For the kids it’s a little harder (it would be easier, I suspect, if I saw my folks more often, so that the changes would not seem quite so saltatory*).
Worst of all is handling how I’ve changed. I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to it. My own self-image always seems to be about 20 years out of whack with the current reality.
Tomorrow: I’ll put together bookshelves. Assembly is always challenging to a person who is offended by the idea that left and right are somehow different.
Somehow, I managed not to gain much weight on this vacation — only three pounds, which I’ve already shed. Not quite sure how that happened, but as I didn’t exercise all week, I suspect my weight gain was partly compensated by loss of muscle mass.
We flew from Bako to San Francisco, thence to Crescent City. SFO has a decent eating court. Expensive, but decent. We usually have dim sum, but this time Jake had the clam chowder sourdough bowl from Le Boudin (isn’t that what it’s called?) and I think Karen got some kind of sourdough sandwich with cranberries and turkey. Not bad (I always get whatever she can’t finish.) And I had some sweet and sour pork from the dim sum place.
Once we got to Crescent City, Karen didn’t feel like eating anything, so Jake and I went to that place at the south end of town that’s only open in the summer. We both had scampi, which was quite good, but nothing’s ever as good as the FIRST TIME, which was scampi at a North Beach place called La Pergola’s. Even scampi at La Pergola’s the second time wasn’t as good as scampi at La Pergola’s the first time. Go figure.
The next day in CC, Karen was still under the weather, so Jake and I had dinner with my former receptionist. We went to Thai House. If you ever drive through CC, there are two can’t-fail restaurants you should check out: Thai House and Sea West, which is also Thai. Thai House also serves great Vietnamese food, and Sea West does some decent American cuisine. Thai House was great as usual, but I regret not taking Jake to Sea West. The proprietor, Koon, has known Jake since he was not-quite-three. I don’t think she’s seen him since he hit puberty, and I’m sure she’d get a kick out of it.
To get to Seattle, we had to fly back to SFO, and then we took a direct flight to Seattle. We came into Sea-Tac kinda late but our friends had cupcakes waiting for us. The next night, we went to a Korean restaurant and indulged in pickles and kalbi beef, pork, and squid. I can’t eat beef so I scarfed down the pork and squid and pickles. What are those pickles called — you know, the spread they put out at Korean restaurants? I crave that stuff. Usually, my favorite dish is the little dried fishies that are part sweet, part peppery, and part salty, but their little fishies weren’t up to my usual standards. They had glorious kim chee, though, and decent fried and marinated tofu.
The next night we had a good meal at a waterfront restaurant near our friends’ house, and our last night, we had sushi. At the waterfront restaurant, I had crab cakes for dinner, and Karen had fish. Can’t remember what everyone else ordered although I think Jake had a burger and other people had that fish dish. And of course Jayna (above) had pasta.
No four-star restaurants, but we still ate better than we had in a long, long while.
I’m going to keep posting photos here until I get tired of it . . . stay tuned.
Now that I’ve figured out how to use our scanner, I’m a scanning fool.
Somewhere around age 5 or 6, Jake lost interest in photography. It’s a shame. I think his Lego infatuation deep-sixed all other interests.
He’s in McCarren Airport, by the look of it. Boy mit pizza.
The family . . . shame these aren’t digital photos, you know?