Monday, December 31, 2007

For The Child. . .

. . .in all of us:

Happy New Year 2008!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Vegas To Stateline to Walnut Creek

The end of our USA Trip. Long haul from Vegas, snow and rain from 395 up the Kingsbury Grade to South Lake Tahoe. Nice evening, good food, and the next day into California taking SR80 to SR49 to Angels to Hilton House.

So much could have gone wrong. So much went so well. What a trip!

New Year's CatchUp

Now, I have to finish our USA Trip.

Where was I? We had just left Albuquerque, right?

So lets continue West on I-40, with a hard right turn at Kingman AZ, on our way to Las Vegas. It's a long 750-mile haul.

This is desert country. Not much to see.

There are a few shacks, next to gas stations that sell Unleaded for $4.25/gal.

But, the scenery is enchanting, always.

Lots of new construction is Vegas, as always. This is the next-door Monte Carlo, expanding.

And the wonderful fountain at Bellagio, which erupted just as we drove up the entry drive. Akiko was entranced!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Anniversaries Are Comforting

And this day is our 42nd!

"42 is conjectured to be the scaling factor in the leading order term of the "sixth moment of the Riemann zeta function". In particular, Conrey & Ghosh have conjectured something important, where the infinite product is over all prime numbers."

(Don't blame me! This is a slightly-edited copy from Wikepedia. Sigh.)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Cold Golf

It wasn't quite this bad:

But, playing golf when the wind is blowing and the temperature is about 50F (10C) is a bit less than pleasurable relaxation. At least at Saddle Creek & Greenhorn.

But, what do I know?

The friends were outstanding, and the arguments were nonexistant. That's always good.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas 2007

015 copy, originally uploaded by Nina Camic.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Holiday Greetings!

And no, it's not political.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Historic Route 66

So I Googled "Historic Route 66" and found the map above. Contrary to my earlier recollections, we apparently caught up with 66 inside Oklahoma, on our way to OKCity.

All this traveling was done in a Chevy Uplander, a 7-seat minivan, which turned out to be exactly the right size for the four of us, and our luggage. (Close fit, but it worked every time.)

Winter Wonderland

Another wonderful snap from How does she find all these things?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Very Cold Day, Very Warm Dog

Look closely. 'Nuff said.

(HT )

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


A day of rest in Kazuko & Richard's place, with time for relaxation and some golf at the Indian Sandia Golf/Casino/Hotel resort down on Tramway.

Nice weather, difficult course, and Hayashi-san scored damned-near par. (Click to enlarge, as always.) Good Golf!

A last look at the stark, and beautiful, scenery of New Mexico. A last, lovely dinner at home, and to bed.

Next morning, we meant to leave early. Unfortunately, I had left my wallet in the refrigerator, and we had to return from Kazuko's office downtown to her house in the Northern suburbs. Net result = we left 1 hour late for a very long pull from Albuquerque to Vegas, almost 700 miles.

The road was straight.

And empty.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas Music I - 2007

These guys are having fun! Enjoy.

Paralleling US-66

Leaving OKCity, we headed West on I-40 again. Many signs designating "Historic Highway 66", which I-40 follows, at least from Memphis or nearby. That's fun.

We missed the half-buried Cadillacs on 66, but we at least stopped for lunch outside Amarillo. "72-Ounce Steak - FREE! (if you finish the meal inside of 1 hour) AND a limousine ride home (or to the hospital)"

Then through the remainder of the panhandle of Texas, through the flatlands of New Mexico, and past a fantastic mountain route through Southern Sandia Peak to Albuquerque!

Time to relax.

And to contemplate Richard's great BBQ steaks

And to wonder at the cord madness that our modern life demands. (Someone, soon, will address this problem. A problem that we all have.)

Friday, December 07, 2007

"Oklahoma! . . .

. . . where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain."

Not much to say about Arkansas. Even less about Oklahoma. It's windy out there, but the sunshine held. We found ourselves in Bricktown, a redevelopment area just outside downtown OKCity. Nice dinner, with deep-fried green beans, in a brewery there.

Three blocks away, past the brick-lined ballpark, was our Marriott Residence Inn. Staff was very friendly, but there wasn't much staff. Hayashi scored a brass luggage cart, and off we went.

Residence Inn was just fine. Two bedrooms, w/bath & TV, flanking a central living room (w/TV) and kitchen. Nice layout for two business persons in town for a week. Front desk even had grocery shopping service available. I'll have to remember this.

That evening, we drove by the memorial where the Federal Building stood, before it was bombed to oblivion. Nice memorial, many chairs, quiet lighting. I'm still puzzled about the event.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Autumn In Walnut Creek

Who says there are no autumn colors in California? This is what I can see every morning from the kitchen table:

And here are two different shades of yellow. The closest one is a Ginkgo; the farther one a Pear. We have nice trees gracing the front yard.

A closeup of the Ginkgo. If I remember my landscape courses in college correctly, the Ginkgo is the oldest tree still extant.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Words vs. Action

Remember this? It's the longest German word I saw on our trip. It means that it's okay to use airport carts on the escalators.

Our local French department store, on the other hand, simply built an escalator just for shopping carts.

Pretty cool.

(And, yes, the two kids on the right are facing down on an up escalator.)

7:24 Minutes Of Joy

It really doesn't get much better than this:

Speakers up, toes tapping, just smile!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

110th B I G G A M E !

Today's Game at 4:00 pm PST, 12:00 am GMT, and 9:00 am Sunday on Guam. GO BEARS!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Time Zone Crazyness

This was kind of fun. We lost 3 hours, of course, by flying to JFK in New York. So, we changed our watches.

In Atlanta, Daylight Savings ended (why end it?), so we gained one hour.

Somewhere in Tennessee (I love to type that word.) we left Eastern for Central, and we gained one hour.

As we left Texas and entered New Mexico, we gained one hour.

Then, as we left Arizona and entered Nevada, we gained our final one hour.
(Note Arizona; it's with California in the Summer, with the Mountain States in the Winter. That's weird. (Arizona is weird.))

West From Memphis

Up early, for an early departure from the hotel in order to do some sightseeing in Memphis.
First stop, of course, Graceland.

It was too early for the tour, but we stopped the car and admired the wall surrounding the mansion. All matter of graffiti, from visitors from all over the world. We resisted the temptation.

It was in a pretty seedy part of town (Memphis, seems to me, is pretty seedy all over, but perhaps there's an area where the bankers live.) Graceland, with its expansive, shady grounds, looks pretty good.

A quick drive to the park along the banks of the Mighty Mississippi (I just love to type that word!) and a chance to get out and view its majesty. Big river.

We got on the bridge and, halfway across, passed a big sign saying "Welcome to Arkansas." Ahhh, Bill Clinton's land.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Beale Street Blues

We left Atlanta a bit late, on our way to Memphis TN.

Our friend, the GPS lady, told us to go South and West to Birmingham AL. Luy, on the other hand, suggested North and West to Chattanooga TN. We followed Luy's guidance.

It took a while, but we found the Westin-Beale Street Hotel, and checked in. Dinner at the hotel included Mieko's Cobb Salad - enough for two large people and a child.

The Westin is in a redevelopment area of Memphis. Very fancy hotel, with the FedEx Arena across the street, and a new baseball stadium a block away. Tough part of town, but we felt okay. After dinner, we asked directions for Beale Street (the legendary "Home of the Blues.) The dining room hostess opened the patio door and pointed us left. Beale Street was right next door, barricaded, and with a lot of police presence. It was Sunday night, so there weren't a whole lot of folks around, but the drinks were plentiful.

Six clubs were open, the music was blaring, and the doors were open. We entered one of them, no cover, no minimum, and we listened to some good music and bought a CD. Then, we tried one club on the corner, no cover for ladies, $3 for gentlemen. Great blues, and a hearty "Air-eee-gate-oh" on the way out. Beale Street is like that.

Eating Our Way Through Atlanta

Our memories of Atlanta are centered around friendship and great food.

Restaurant food

Supermarket food (this Korean supermarket was super. About twice the size of our local 99Ranch markets!)

Specialty cakes, which made us blush

A fully-laden table, every time

And, an opportunity to meet Minh's father. Truly an honor

We hated to leave. But, we were pushing West after heading South to Atlanta. Good times!

Cathedral of Christ The Light, Oakland-Post II

Neat video, but I can't embed it. Cut and paste:

Credit the Bay Area News Group for this video. My second-favorite cathedral is getting there. Although I was disappointed at first with the glass skin, it's growing on me. And, on a recent visit, one of the sidewalk superintendents complained about the raw concrete of the base. We'll see.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

There Is Georgia, And Then. . .

there is Atlanta. We were in Atlanta to meet with Minh Hang and her husband Luy. Minh lived with us in Honolulu when she was a student at the University of Hawaii. Here are Minh and Luy during a recent trip to Hanoi.

We were in the suburbs West of Atlanta, in an area chockablock full of asian businesses. Minh and Luy took us to dinner at a nearby Vietnamese restaurant. Very, very tasty!

The next day, Saturday, was spent touring the sights of suburban Atlanta, including one of only three authentic Indian temples in North America. The Hayashi's are on the left, then me, then Minh and son Christopher, Luy, and daughter Christina, the Architect. (Mieko took the picture.)
The temple is put together without reinforcing bars, concrete, glue, whatever. It is truly stunning.

And then to lunch at a nearby winery, the Chateau Elan. Nice restaurant, interesting wine shop, elegant **** hotel, golf course, the works! And, the food and wine were terrific.

Friday, November 23, 2007