December 23rd, 2002


Holiday Visits

So, let's just slip in a quick update of what's going on in my world this holiday season:

Friday, Dec 20 - Palo Alto, CA
The company holiday party, at which we went bowling. I managed a three-game average of 122, which was quite satisfying to me. I also think I managed to sprain my middle finger on my right hand; it's still a little stiff today as I type.

Saturday, Dec 21 - Sunnyvale, CA
We got together with my local family and relations for our Christmas festivities. Since I come from a fairly small family, this made a total of six people, including myself and my wife. We had a joyous holiday meal of takeout Chinese food; not traditional, but convenient.

We opened our presents to and from each other, despite it not yet being Christmas. We really aren't too picky about the timing, in my family. My wife and I got some nice gifts, including some nice dishtowels for the kitchen.

My dear sainted grandmother also had presents for our pets! Our rats, Martin and Matthias, received some towels for bedding and burrowing. Our cat, Sapphire, got a bag. Now, before you think this is leading up to some horrid "cat out of the bag" joke, I must tell you that she really likes bags. Whenever we come back from shopping, she tries to climb into and play in the empty bags. Honest! So my grandma actually sewed together a nice double-lined cloth bag just for her.

Sunday, Dec 22 - CA and OR

Our plan this year was to drive up and visit Kit's parents for Christmas. So we piled into the car in the cold pre-dawn light, with Kit driving since I wouldn't actually wake up for another two hours or so. Off we headed up I-5 to Portland, Oregon.

Well, Troutdale. It's a small town outside Gresham which is a town east of Portland by about 15 minutes. That's where Kit's family resides. Given the early hour of departure and an hour of installing hub mounts for Spike Spiders (a snap-on substitute for snow chains) the night before, we evidently racked up enough karma to make the drive without any real traffic or accidents to bar our progress. We left Alameda at 7am and hit Gresham at 6pm -- excellent time.

One last observation for the trip: As I was driving, I saw an interesting sight on the side of the freeway. On the edge of a stand of trees was a small snow-covered evergreen sapling perhaps eight feet tall. Since the sun was rising above us, the snow was melting from the trees. I happened to be watching at just the right moment to observe one branch lose its load of snow. Unbalanced, the tree leaned violently the other way, only to dump the snow of that side; being a springy sapling, it oscilated back and forth several times, losing further layers of snow with each bob.

It occured to me that I'd just seen a tree shake itself like a wet dog! Perhaps it was a dogwood?

Monday, Dec 23 - Troutdale, OR

So now we're just up here kicking back and relaxing. And having time to type journal entries.. You know, the normal holiday stuff.
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