July 2007

July 31, 2007

Happy Birthday Harry!

Categories: Books and such

Today is Harry Potter's birthday. His fictional birth date is 7/31/1980, so he'd be twenty-seven today. That would put him ten years past the end of book seven.

Posted July 31, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

July 30, 2007

Forbidden City Starbucks closed

Categories: Travel

One of the oddest things I've seen travelling is the Starbucks in the middle of the Forbidden City in Beijing. I've stopped there several times and admit to having a latte or iced mocha there once or twice. However, we'll have to find some other refreshment stop in the Forbidden City from now on. The people who run the Forbidden City apparently decided they wanted all of the vendors to operate under a common brand, so Starbucks decided to close the joint. Oh well.

More from the International Herald Tribune.

Thanks to Richard for tipping me onto this story.

(I've taken hundreds, maybe thousands of photos in the Forbidden City, but I don't seem to have any of the Starbucks. I'm sure I took some. Weird.)

Posted July 30, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

July 25, 2007

Michael Figures Out How to Shotgun

Categories: Kids

Michael (6) was reading a kids' science book this evening and saw an experiment he wanted to try. Basically, you fill up a plastic pop or water bottle, put the cap on it, and then poke a hole in the side near the bottom. If you open the lid, the water comes out (obviously). There's some more on the how much further the water shoots out when the bottle is more full, water pressure, blah blah, etc.

Without me saying anything, Michael eyeballs the rig for a second, puts, his lips around the hole, opens the top, and drinks the water out quickly. He was a little messy about it, but certainly less than most of our old pledges.

I figured he'd get to this one day, but six is a little young to be shotgunning even water. Precocious kid...

Posted July 25, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

July 21, 2007

End of the Line

Categories: Books and such

I just finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the last Harry Potter book. As planned, I picked up my copy at the local QFC grocery store at 12:06am and was home reading it 12:12am. I finished this morning at 8:00. I did have a little trouble staying awake around 3-4, but I powered through.

I enjoyed the book and the closure it brings, but I confess, I'm a little sad that it's all over. I've been a big fan for years now and am feeling a bit of loss now.

Posted July 21, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

July 19, 2007

A decade of parenthood

Categories: Kids

Andrew turned ten today. Michelle and I are a little wigged (OK, maybe a lot wigged) about having a ten year old kid. How many ways can you say old?

Posted July 19, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

July 18, 2007

More s'mores

Categories: Food and Drink

This seems to be the summer of s'mores for us. After having mastered the perfect basic s'more, I thought it was important to pass on this important life skill to the boys. Despite the questionable wisdom of giving Michael (6) a sharp stick with a ball of flaming napalm on the end, we've had a safe and fun time with it so far. I may start trying some gourmet modifications to the recipe, although it's hard to beat the simple, diabetic coma perfection of a s'more.

Now, I just need to start working out in earnest again to work it all off...

Posted July 18, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

July 17, 2007

Harry Potter Countdown

Categories: Books and such

As I've mentioned before, I'm illogically crazy about the Harry Potter books, so it's no surprise that I'm excited about the arrival of book 7, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, this Saturday. I plan to do what I did with book 6 and pick up my copy at midnight from the local QFC grocery store (since they won't have a line for the book there) and binge read it immediately through the night.

I also enjoy reading the speculation about what will happen in the book. As usual, the theories are all over the place, but there seem to be a few twists this time. One guy claims to have broken into Bloomsbury's computers and stolen the manuscript. (Bloomsbury is the UK publisher of HP; I worked with them on Bookshelf and Encarta, incidentally.) The spoilers seemed reasonable, but the most credible leak I've seen is here. The text in the beginning has a bunch of random ideas, but there are a set of digital photos at the end that look like photos of each page of the last chapter of the book. It looks real and, having read it now, it seems legit to me. I won't give away what it says; follow it if you want.

Anyway, I can't wait. I'll be a wreck for most of Saturday, but it'll be worth it. It's been a fun ride reading all the books; the journey ends on Saturday.

[Update: Looks like the leak site I pointed to pulled down the photos of the pages of the book. Oh well.]

Posted July 17, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

July 13, 2007



In the eight inning Ichiro hasn't shown he's worth $100 million yet. Get to work.

Posted July 13, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

My hotdog on the visitor dugout


My seats at the game tonight aren't bad. This is my hotdog resting on the visitor dugout. Lovely evening.

Posted July 13, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Mariner's game


Mmm hot dogs and beer at the Mariner's game.

Posted July 13, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

July 3, 2007

Congratulations to Alinghi!

Categories: Random cool stuff

Alinghi won the 32nd Americas Cup today, beating Team New Zealand by one second! Alinghi was comfortably ahead on the last downwind leg with Team New Zealand still owing a penalty turn; it looked like the race was in the bag. Then, the wind shifted upwind. Team New Zealand dropped their spinnaker (the downwind sail) and put up their jib; Alinghi tried to do the same and ran into trouble, with their spinnaker flailing and pole out of control. They got caught in a light wind hole and New Zealand went past. TNZ did a double-tack for their penalty turn (unusual since typically boats will do a 360 - armchair sailors will be debating this forever) and were racing toward the line. Alinghi got their speed up just in time to nose over the line, ahead by a second. It's incredible that after about 90 minutes, these two boats were only a second apart.

This has been the most amazing Americas Cup. Alinghi won 5-2, but each race was fantastic. The boats were well matched for speed despite all the rumors of Alinghi's boats being half a generation ahead. Alinghi simply executed better. The commentators can't stop gushing about what a fantastic final this has been.

So, congratulations to Alinghi for defending their title and keeping the oldest trophy in sports. Also, kudos to Team New Zealand for doing such a great job through the Louis Vuittons and the AC.

Wow. I can't wait for 2011...

Posted July 3, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)