the canaries were there, and the lemon tree
and the old woman with warts;
and I was there, a child
and I touched the piano keys
as they talked-
but not too loudly
for they had things to say,
the three of them;
and I watched them cover the canaries at night
with flour sacks:
“so they can sleep, my dear.”
I played the piano quietly
one note at a time,
the canaries under their sacks,
and there were pepper trees,
pepper trees brushing the roof like rain
and hanging outside the windows
like green rain,
and they talked, the three of them
sitting in a warm night’s semicircle,
and the keys were black and white
and responded to my fingers
like the locked-in magic
of a waiting, grown-up world;
and now they’re gone, the three of them
and I am old:
pirate feet have trod
the clean-thatched floors
of my soul,
and the canaries sing no more.
February 2012 will go down in history as the month that I started to enjoy skiing, which is to say, I stopped falling every 37 seconds. Thank you very much Squaw Valley ski instructor Lawrence for finally teaching me the basics.
A panoramic view of Squaw Valley from the base, ready to start off the day.
At the conclusion of a successful day skiing, smiles all around inside the tram.
After a marathon 18 hours on a plane (DRW-SYD-SFO), I’m back from Australia, and seeings how I can’t sleep (stupid GMT +09:30), I thought I’d post some photos and maps from Oz. The trip spanned ten days, from 2/5/2012 to 2/15/2012, with the first 6 days spent in Sydney working out of our Sydney office, and 4 days in Darwin on vacation ahead of the 70th anniversary of the “Australian Pearl Harbor” (2/19/2012). Overall, an outstanding visit, I really enjoyed Sydney and Australia, and can seeing myself going there again (for next time: snorkling, national park’ing, outback’ing, Melbourne’ing, etc).
I’ve been getting an unusual amount of Valentine’s Day poems this year (i.e. 3) from friends and family (thanks!), here was my favorite of those:
Valentine treasures are people who have often crossed your mind, family, friends and others, too, who in your life have shined the warmth of love or a spark of light that makes you remember them; no matter how long since you’ve actually met, each one is a luminous gem, who gleams and glows in your memory, bringing special pleasures, and that’s why this Valentine comes to you: You’re one of those sparkling treasures!
Sometime around mid-November, I ran out of tv shows I wanted to watch on Netflix (read: Arrested Development Season 4, where art thou). So after a medium amount of random tv watching, here are two of my new favorites (worth checking out!):
Better Off Ted — cancelled after two seasons, it’s a show about a soulless company, a few nerds, an enjoyable boss, Lindsay from Arrested Development, and a good amount of ST. Episode 0104, Racial Sensitivity, can’t be missed, it’s one of the funniest episodes of of anything ever.
Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret — with G.O.B. and Tobias from Arrested Development, the show follows a hopeless Portlandian as he tries to sell Londoners a toxic-ish energy drink. I can describe the show in these words: painfully funny, with lots of peeing (on the show).
As preparation for the Drumstick Dash 10k (which I haven’t registered for yet, and registration is closed, hmm) in Minneapolis, I ran a new personal record for distance tonight, 6.01 miles, but an anti-record for speed (7.x mph). Where a fortnight (yes, I love that term) ago I was freaking out about running anything more than 3.1 miles, I now feel pretty good about my chances (read: of finishing, not of coming in the top-90%, heh). So all that’s left is convincing the race organizers to let me register late as the token Californian. To my favorite email client!
My first 5k in almost 7 years today, BigWaveDave’s Run with the Jets (note on the name of the race: the run was along the San Francisco Bay near the SFO airport, so we did actually run with the jets, sort of). Given the time away from running, and minimal training time (1 actual run beforehand), I was pretty impressed with my time: 20:55, or a 6:44m pace. This was good for 5th overall, or 2d in my age group (good enough to win a free “vino”).
In addition to the running, the day was a lot of fun: The race announcer was pretty funny (sometimes/always unintentionally), the post-race food very good (my first peanut butter in like 4 months), the day almost perfect (they had forecast rain, which didn’t happen at all), and a bunch of us getting hot dogs and beer after the race.
All thanks to BigDaveWave and the great race/experience today, I’ve already signed up for a 5k on the 15th, and might consider doing a 10K (Drumstick Dash?) once I’m back in the Twin Cities for Thanksgiving. Yay running!
I had fun wowing my uncle tonight on how easy it easy to create rich gps tracks in just 8 easy steps (minus time to create the actual gps track, this should take around 10 minutes). Recipe is as follows:
Step 1: Get MyTracks from Android Market (Step 0: purchase Android phone if you don’t already have one).
Step 2: From MyTracks, ‘Record track.’ This does the actual GPS logging for you, and embeds stats (e.g. max speed, elevation gain, etc) into the track.
Step 3: Do something fun, outside. Make sure to take lots of (geo-tagged) photos/videos (your Android telephone can do this for you).
Step 4: When done with step 3, stop recording track from inside MyTracks. When this is done, long press on newly-created track, select ‘Send to Google’ and choose Maps as the home for your track data. Be sure to choose an easy-to-remember name name for this new map (mine: ‘Kayaking the Otter Tail River’).
Step 5: Upload media from step 3 to Picasa (or if you have G+ mobile, instant upload should already have done this for you).
Step 6: From step 5, create a Picasa album for your trip and populate with the media capturing during your trek. Once done, right click and copy url from ‘View in Google Earth’ link. This is a kml file which makes it easy to view your photos in a geo browser (e.g. Google Maps, Google Earth).
Step 7: Navigate to Google Maps, select ‘My Places’ and choose edit on the named map from step 4 (trust me, it should be there). Click import and paste the url of the Picasa album kml from step 6.
Step 8: Click save and done on the map, click on the link icon on the top right of the map to get url for sharing. Viola! 10 minutes!