Going To WSOP

This weekend, I played in the Google World Series of Poker.  A friendly game where 25 googlers got together and played a $100 tournament for 2 seats to Event #4 at the World Series of Poker.

I took first place and am pretty excited to get to play in the series even if it is likely to be a field of > 5,000 players and even though my odds are long.

Pasta and an Answer

First, let's get this out of the way.  If you are wondering what the "correct" but less funny answer to this weekend's whiteboard puzzle was:
"Why are mailboxes round on top?"

It seems that the upper-left dashed black line didn't translate into everyone's mind as, "If they were flat on top..."  The main reason I posted was because I was imagining an archeologist from the future finding that whiteboard and wondering, "Hmm, why did that ancient civilization make this marking?"  I wasn't sure if I needed to leave annotations for said archeologist.  But, now that the board has been rubbed clean, I guess there isn't really a need.

In other news, Sarah and I made pasta from scratch last night.  Where scratch is defined as a cup of flour, an egg, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.  It came out a little undercooked, and a little too thick, but other than that, it tasted just like pasta is supposed to taste.  We took some pictures of Sarah's bow-tie pasta and my disfigured snakes pasta, but they are still on the camera, so I'll have to post them later.
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Sarah and I voted this morning.  The line was long.  I felt like yelling "Hurray Democracy!"  It just feels so nice to know that there is a way for everyone to have their voices heard.

Voting itself was 5 pages of candidates and ballot measures.  These are not small pages either.  They almost ran out of alphabet for the San Francisco city measures.  But I freaking loved that my opinion was being sought on all of these matters.  Some of them weren't very important, but others really were.  I feel like even without running or campaigning, I really am getting to participate in government.  "Hurray Democracy!"

National Lampoon's Mexican Vacation

Actually, there was only one thing that happened on Sarah and my recent birthday trip to Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico, that would qualify it to be part of a movie by National Lampoon.  But, we'll get to that later.

I decided that Sarah had spent enough time being mildly chilly in San Francisco, and that what she really wanted most for her birthday was a trip to a tropical location.  So, on my birthday, I booked us a trip to Mazatlán, Sinaloa.  We stayed in a really cool botique hotel.  Called Casa Lucila.  It was really awesome.  I especially loved the shower.  Pictures will probably be on PicasaWeb before too very much longer.  Don't worry, they aren't pictures of me in the shower.

The whole trip was quite relaxing, and we got to go in the ocean a couple of times.  The beach was a little dirty, but the ocean was nice.  We did pretty well with our broken Spanish.  Which reminds me of another funny story.  On Friday night, while we were packing, I said something to Sarah in Spanish, and she responded and said something else clever and appropriate in Spanish.  This was odd, because we had pretty much determined that my Spanish skills were better than hers.  So, I looked surprised.  Sarah noticed and said, "Oh, yeah, I learned Spanish" in that kind of definitive way that implied that she could now speak the language fluently.  I laughed and said, "When did you learn it."  She smiled and said, "On the bus, yesterday and today."  Ah, good times.

Anyway, the most eventful part of the trip was on Sunday morning when Sarah went down to get her massage that we had scheduled for 9:45.  I stayed behind to pack up the clothing explosion that had happened in the hotel room since we would only have about ten minutes after her message before we needed to catch a cab to the airport.  Then, at 10:15, Sarah comes back up to the room.  She is all disappointed because the masseuse didn't show up.  We kind of shrugged it off and decided that in Mexico, they don't run on as tight a schedule as Americans.  Oh, well, maybe next time.   She went and sat out by the pool as I finished packing the bags.  Then, we went downstairs around 11 to get our ride to the airport.

Once at the airport, we found out that our plane was supposed to start boarding at noon, and it was already 11:45, so we kind of hurried through security and got to the gate just before noon.  Well, nobody else was there, so we looked around and made sure we were at the right gate.  We were.  Then, Sarah went to try and find a bottled water, and then, she came back and said, "That clock over there says it is 11AM."  Apparently, Mexico did the whole time change the weekend before America.  So, we were an hour early to the airport and Sarah was an hour early for her massage.  Kind of funny.  But, mostly, the trip was just very relaxing.

The Question, She is Popped

Well gang, it's official. I am now engaged to be married!

Last night, Sarah and I took a walk up to Buena Vista park near our apartment in San Francisco. We stopped and picked some flowers to wear in our hair, and then climbed to the top of the park. It is a beautiful setting with tons of trees and stellar views of the city.

We talked about various things on the walk, and then, just as we were about to leave the summit, Sarah pulls out this card that she had made me. I opened it up, and it said, "Why keep gambling on happiness?" and had an attached lottery ticket. On the next fold of the card, it said, "When you've already won with me?" Then, there were these three little doors over on the left that showed all of the ways I have won with Sarah. How much we love each other and how we can talk until 2AM, and how she wants to share everything with me. But before I opened the last door, she made a little speech. She isn't usually very verbally expressive of her feelings toward me, so it was great to hear her saying that she wanted me to be her "partner and husband." Then, I opened the third door (marked Door #7 for comic purposes), and read "Will you marry me?"

I was very moved, and dropped to a knee and pulled out her grandmother's engagement ring and told her how lucky I would feel to be able to spend and share my life with her. We both hugged a misty-eyed hug, but didn't really break out crying or anything.

Then, as we were leaving the top of the park, I shouted to some lady who was walking her dog across the way, "We just got engaged!" and she shouted back, "Awesome!" Then, we called a bunch of family members to share the news.

We went home and celebrated with pizza and Bellini's. It was a night I will remember forever. I can't wait to start working on the wedding planning with Sarah. We are so happy together, I know it will be fantastic to spend our lives together.

Side-Story: So, as we were walking down out of the park, there was this guy in the middle of one of the paths who was doing push-ups on a down-hill slope. He was doing a lot of them, and didn't seem to be getting tired, but when he noticed that Sarah and I were close, he stopped and stood up to let us pass. I said, jokingly, "Wow, 600 push-ups." He said, "Sorry" and kind of looked away as though he was embarrassed. I said, "No, it's okay, I just wanted to congratulate you on all those push-ups you did." He said, "To be honest, I'm stoned. I just wanted to do some push-ups cause I'm high." Only in San Francisco.

Maui Trip

Sarah and I went to Maui at the beginning of this month.  It was a blast ... for me.  Sarah was terribly sick with some sort of chest congestion, coughing, sore throat, so it can ruin your vacation bug.

I had a good time relaxing at the bed and breakfast where we stayed.  There were lots of Germans staying there. So, it was interesting not knowing what everyone was talking about at breakfasts.  Oh, well.

The highlights of our trip were:
Lowlights of our trip were:
  • Annabell's Piano Super-Boring Hour
  • Eating boring food cause Sarah couldn't taste anything and Pepper didn't care.
  • Sarah's head almost exploding as the plane landed, and again when we were descending Haleakala
  • Sarah not Scuba Diving
  • Not Snorkeling
For those of you who are thinking of going to Maui soon, I highly recommend the trike ride.  Here are the pictures from mine displayed on that really cool Flickr map thing.  That was really a huge blast.

Another thing worth mentioning was that when we went whale-watching, we saw at least 6 or 7 whales, and most of them pretty up-close and personal.  Two of the whales swam under our boat causing us to have to shut off the motor and wait for them to leave.  It was awesome seeing creatures that big so near by.

Even though Sarah was sick, she was a wonderful travel buddy, and really didn't come close to spoiling my trip by her being sick.  I will post more pictures from the trip later.
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Hi, I just wanted to drop everyone a line and let you know about this great emacs client called ljupdate It is pretty slick. I think.

We'll have to see if this post actually makes it out into the wild. From my computer. Anyway. I think this might be a way for me to post more frequently, as I am almost always looking at an emacs session anyway.

Upcoming-Post Teasers:
  • Pepper And Sarah's Trip to Maui
  • Friend Feed
See, if I say that, I'll have to post again soon.

Still Kickin'

Hey Gang. Sorry it has been so long since I wrote. What's been going on?

Well, Sarah is still living out here with me. This is a such a fundamentally positive part of my life, it really does make any of the other things going on seem like background noise. However, since I am sure that you guys don't want to just read a long blog post about gooey lovey dovey stuff, I'll mention some of that background noise as well.

Missing Folks.Collapse )

Work.Collapse )

Vacation.Collapse )

Obama@GoogleCollapse )

What else. Oh, Sarah and I will be landing at RDU on 12/22 and flying out of RDU again on 01/01. We are interested in seeing everyone we can for as long as we can. What are people up to? Any New Year's Eve parties to die for? We are probably going to be in Winchester, VA for 3 or 4 days after Christmas, but we will work something out.

Okay, I guess that is enough for now. Just know that I am having a good life, and that I think of you often.