Sunday, December 21, 2008


He walked slightly hunched, and slowly. He carried a cane most of the time. Once, we left Safeway and when we got back to his house, the cane was still on top of his red 1986 Ford Thunderbird.

My great-grandpa Lonzo Alfred "Skip" McDowell was born today, 96 years ago. For those into cool numbers, his birthdate was 12/21/12. How neat is that! I knew him as grandpa McDowell, but everyone else called him Skip.

He loved to bowl, especially taking Stacie and I on Saturday mornings after we'd spent Friday night with him. Well never together, we'd kill each other. Kentwig Lanes was close. You remember the one. They had dollar games, cheap shoe rental.

He loved to come watch my baseball games. In fact I remember he passed right at the beginning of my 12-year-old season of Little League, in April of 1993.

He whistled. A lot. I could never tell what, it sounded almost Korean or something. I think he could carry a tune in a bucket, just not all that far. I used to sit by him in church and he'd sing. I remember a specific time when we sang "Holy, Holy, Holy" and I was next to him singing along.

My best friend growing up, Bryan, had an elementary school named after his grandpa. I thought it was neat, but Bryan never really got to know him very well. I felt sad for him. I counted my blessings that I got to spend so much time with my great-grandparents and grandparents. I'm looking forward to spending some time with my family this coming week!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hello again

I haven't blogged in a while. I guess I really haven't had much to say. Things I think are good.

Let's see, bowling league is a blast. I'm improving, and one of these days I hope I can get back to respectability. Until then, I'm having fun and that's all that counts. I've been eyeing bowling ball bags, bowling balls, and shoes. I've seen shoes for $35-40, which I don't think is a bad price. Balls run anywhere from $40 to however much you want to pay. I've seen what look like decent (performance-wise) and good-looking balls for $60-70. New single-ball bags start at $20, and one I really liked was about $33. Sure, I guess I could spend $200 on new bowling stuff, but I really haven't done it much lately outside the league. We bowl 6 more times (12 games total) after the new year, if I went more and saved money (having my own shoes for example) maybe it'd be worth looking more into.

I'm in the market for a new phone. My phone works fine except for the battery. I basically have to charge it every night and hope it gets me to the next night. Instead of a $40-50 battery (which I'd really have to search online for), I could put that towards a new phone. Unfortunately, that would come with a shiny new 2-year renewal. And an extra $30/mo ($22/mo after my discount) in charges. I haven't decided there, I'll figure out what I'm doing after the holidays.

My car needs work too. It's well overdue for a good 100,000 checkup. And timing belt. And water pump. And transmission flush and fill. And... well who knows what else! A new phone will have to wait until I get my car done.

I've done little more with photography. I took my camera tonight to my friend Rachel's christmas program. She's an elementary school music teacher. She asked our singing group to provide some background vocals for a song, and I happened to take my camera along. I'm getting more comfortable shooting in sorta-manual mode. Oh wait, I think the S stands for shutter, not sorta.

Computer-wise, I've been playing with Windows 2008 Server Standard Edition. I've read reports of people who like it as a workstation OS. They're completely right. The Vista drivers work great with it, and you can enable themes that make it look more like Vista. Except it doesn't suck. It's speedy, responsive. I'm very impressed. If only I didn't have to reinstall everything every so often.

I'm looking forward to going home. I'll be out there for several days. I'm really hoping to get to go skiing. I haven't been in a few years, maybe winter of 06-07?

I need to get going on my Christmas shopping. I've got a list. Well in my head. Close enough?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Name that show

Yikes! It's been another month.

Woot! often has some funny posts. This one today was entitled 17 Fabulous Prequels To Broadway Musicals. Can you name all 17? I got 16, with a little cheating I'll get them all...

  1. Kate, We Haven’t Been Introduced
  2. Bar Mitzvah of La Mancha
  3. Sand And Primer Your Wagon
  4. A Chorus Dot
  5. Fiddler Borrows A Ladder
  6. Little Business Plan of Horrors
  7. A Star's Mom Allows A Handsome Stranger To Buy Her A Drink
  8. Indian Territory!
  9. The Guy Who Is A Little Intense But Keeps To Himself And Isn’t Really Bothering Anyone Of The Opera
  10. Annie There’s A Waiting Period
  11. Kittens
  12. Brand New Acquaintance Joey
  13. Handshake Of The Spider Woman
  14. Jesus Christ Waiter
  15. Starlight Right-of-Way Allocation And Environmental Impact Study
  16. Vocal Warm-ups On A Cloudy Day
  17. West Side Backstory
Can you name them all?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Extra Hour

I'm spending that extra hour from daylight saving time by balancing my checkbook. Quicken, the humorous little thing that it is, believes that I have an upcoming payment to Starbucks.

Hmm.... Maybe it is right.

Lets see, to recap. I bought a digital piano. It sounds absolutely gorgeous. No, I don't mean my playing. But if someone who actually could play the piano well would play on it, it would be gorgeous. I pound out chords and have fun, so I guess that's all that matters. The sucker is heav-y! Solid wood top, weighted, pressure-sensitive keys, wooden slide-out key cover. I love it. And it's a great place to plop junk mail on. I'm debating buying a USB-to-MIDI adapter to plug into it. Then I'd have my own computer-controlled player-piano. How sweet is that!

While in the process of buying said digital piano, I dropped my phone, cracking the LCD. It still worked, but I could no longer read anything on the screen. So I had to use the slide-out keyboard to make calls. If I had your phone number memorized. Things got bad one night after church when I was trying to check my voicemail and curb jumped out at me.

To my rescue, my dad had the same exact model (which he stopped using, gave to my bro-in-law, and he stopped using) and so they mailed it off to me. I got it yesterday, and got it all set up. Very nice! Until I can afford a Blackberry Storm or HTC Touch Diamond (drool). But not after buying a digital piano (it's an *or* thing, not an *and* thing). But using my dad's old phone will tide me over several months until I can save up.

I haven't taken pictures in a while, I think I've missed the fall changing of the leaves. They were pretty cool lookin' this year tho.

Okay, back to balancing my checkbook. More to come!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Say Goodbye to Warm Weather


This might be our last 80 degree weekend for the year here in Kansas City, it makes me wish I was back there.

View my Disney Panama Canal Cruise picture gallery from last May.

Friday, October 10, 2008

New Singing Group

I was asked to join a new singing group several weeks ago, and I've really been dying to do some singing. It's left a pretty big void in my life for a long while.

We have Rachel and Brittany on soprano, Amy, Rebekah, and Tawnya as altos, Justin and I on tenor, and Barry as the lone bass. It would be good if we could add a baritone and a bass, maybe someone to do vocal perc too. We'd also like to do some female-only and male-only pieces. The ladies can do that with five rich voices (emphasis on the rich, they are all very talented!). On the other hand, we three males wouldn't exactly fill out a good chord. We're not one of them Mongolian chanters who can sing two pitches at once.

I thought it sounded very good for the few weeks we've been rehearsing together as a group. It's also very refreshing to work with people who pick up music so quickly. Granted, most of the songs we've done so far haven't been all that complicated or difficult, but we've picked them up pretty quickly.

I'd love to post an MP3 of a song we did a week ago called "Go Ye Now In Peace" but I'm unsure of the copyright implications of mass distributing a performance. But hey, if you'd like to hear it, shoot me an email, and I'm sure I can figure out something. ;-)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

So Colorful

ZOE's conference is held at the Woodmont Hills church in south Nashville. One of the neat things about the Woodmont Hills church is how colorful it is! The auditorium is really a glorified multipurpose room, but it has some outstanding color. The west side of the building (which sits on a slight slope) has some awesome color:

The rainbow wall was interesting. Light enters through a clear window, hitting a brick wall painted with a particular color. The light bounces off and onto the side wall of the building, creating the cool effect. As the theme was "Fearless", an orangey/yellow color was dominating. It shows strength, passion, and propensity not to give in or up.

On our way out Saturday night, we poked our head inside the children's ministry classroom, where they have "kids' church", or "childrens' bible hour" whatever you want to call it. Talk about a splash of color!

The flowers and petals are actually painted on the purple carpet. What a bright, warm, inviting place for kids to worship!

What do your favorite colors say about you? How do you use color in different areas of your life? Post a reply back at

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Sunday, October 5, 2008

2008 ZOE Workshop: Fearless

I was able to attend the 2008 ZOE Workshop Conference. The theme this year was "Fearless." The idea was that we should fear the Lord, and through fearing him, we have nothing else to fear.

Here are among the pictures I took: (or go to

Friday night, ZOE Worship led us in several new songs as well as several old ones. It was incredible to hear so many voices raised in praise.

Saturday we had a class session, worship with ZOE Worship along with Mike Cope and Randy Harris, and lunch at an authentic Mex restaurant. After lunch we had another session of worship with Scott McKnight, and the final two sessions. Justin and I attended the music arranging track with DJ Bulls from Arlington, TX. I got a lot out of it!

And now.... I'd like to buy a keyboard and start playing again.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Day 14-17: En Route to Los Angeles, An Extra Day at Disneyland, and The Flight Home

After the evening deck party, things started to set in that we were on our way home. Well, not our home. But they were going to make us get off the boat. I think we were ready. I mean, it's great to be served dinner, to have your silverware replaced at each course, your napkin placed in your lap, to have your bed made in the morning, turned down in the evening with a piece of chocolate on your pillow, to get to lay around on deck 4 listening to the waves crash against the hull, walking around on deck 10 with the wind howling through your hair... Where was I... oh yes. But after 15 days, you long for your own bed, or maybe just high-speed Internet.

We attended a presentation on the debarkation process. Basically, you pack your bags the night before, and leave them in the hallway, keeping with you anything you'd need for the final morning. That morning, we reported to the dining room we were at the following evening, which happened to be Lumiere's. Each dining room had approximately 20-30 min to disembark. According to the rotation, our dining room was last for the first seating group. We asked for an early debarkation time because we were being transported to Disneyland for the day, but we were denied. Only those with flights before 1:00pm were granted early debarkation times.

We finally made it off the boat. The line for US citizens moved much faster than for non-US citizens going through customs in the port of San Pedro/Los Angeles/Long Beach. We then went down the escalators, around the corner, and retrieved our luggage bags. With the three of us (my parents and I), we got a porter who moved our bags for us. It was an easy process getting to the bus which would carry us to the Disney Grand Californian Hotel. I saw my grandparents one last time as they came out of customs (they got in a different line), and I hugged them goodbye.

The bus ride from San Pedro to the Grand Californian was only about 45 minutes, and everyone was excited. On the bus with us was a lady who also was from Olathe! Several people spent a day at Disney World before the cruise, and a day after at Disneyland, thus completing a "Castle-to-Castle" or "Kingdom-to-Kingdom" cruise. The "Cabo crud" started to catch up with me. I felt sick, and very tired.

We got checked into the beautiful Grand Californian Hotel. It's expensive, but such a beautiful hotel. It looks like a rustic cabin in the woods, covered in pine trees, dark wood, and deep green colors. It looks so beautiful. It has it's own special entrance into Disney's California Adventure theme park, which is located right next to Disneyland. Not all that long ago, California Adventure was actually the Disneyland parking lot. Today, the entrances of Grand California and Disneyland are opposite each other, and by walking just a few feet through Downtown Disney (an outdoor mall of sorts), you reach the Disneyland Hotel. At this point in the trip, I was too tired and not feeling well to take pictures. I'll try to add some pictures up here later this week. Take my word for it, it is beautiful.

My parents also splurged on buying tickets for Fantasmic. Fantasmic is a show featuring part live-action, part rear projection animation on water, part water, part water parade, part music, and part fireworks. It's free, and takes place along the water in Orleans Square/Frontierland, and the area. The stage itself is on the Rivers of America and Davey Crockett Island. Isn't that what it's called, I can't remember. So anyways, it's free, however, you kinda have to fight for a seat. You can pay for a reserved seat. Not only that, they serve you this wonderful chocolate, cheese and cracker tray, plus your choice of beverage. I was so stuffed from dinner. That could have been my dinner. If you get the chance to splurge, do this. It's very good!

I barely made it back to the room after Fantasmic. I just felt sick, tired. It was the end of a very long (and very fun) vacation. I just didn't have any gas left.

It was fun to walk around Disneyland and see others from the cruise. I saw several others who I recognized. I purposefully wore my Panama Canal shirt to see if anyone would notice. I think 4-5 cast members asked about it, but no other park-goers.

I flew home the next afternoon, it was an easy drive over to LAX, and then flying Midwest to Kansas City. I was met by my good friends, and we proceeded to our favorite restruant for dinner. It was good, even though I was very tired.

I finally made it back home to my bed. I had clothes set out for the first day back to work. Back to work. It was actually good to be productive again and have something to do.

Well thanks for reading! I don't have any other big huge long trips planned for a long while. I'll add comments from time to time on here, hopefully often. If you're reading on facebook, check me out on Bye for now!

Saturday, September 27, 2008


It's been a month! My bad, my bad.

I feel old today. I helped my good friends pack a 28 ft truck with all of their goods, and it completely wore me out. I'm running on fumes tonight, trying to get my living room (well my entire apartment, really) in a decent condition for hosting some friends over tomorrow night. We're going to watch The Office season premier that all of us missed because we were singing on Thursday night. I might pickup a Costco cheesecake! But I am beat.

I feel old today. I missed my high school 10-year class reunion tonight. I didn't make it back to the bay area, I don't really have the vacation days. I could have gone for a long weekend, but it's quite a bit of money, hassle, and I'm going to be gone next weekend as well. Plus my parents were going out of town this weekend, so I'd miss them too. So eh.. just not worth it.

I feel old today. Tomorrow I hit 28 years young. 28. 2-8. It's made me reflect back briefly on my life, what it has been, what it hasn't been, where I am now, and where I go from here. Not just in one aspect of my life, but in everything; my relationship with God, my career, my dreams, my finances, my hobbies, and my goals. Just plenty for my mind to chew on.

What have I been up to lately. I got a PS3 a while back, and I've been playing with on-demand playing of video and music over it. It is pretty slick, but it's time-consuming. a 30-minute program takes about 130 minutes to encode. I'm writing a script to automatically do this.

I got my satellite dish remounted with the help of my good friend Alan. It's in a more... shall we say inconspicuous place. I didn't think I was getting all the channels I should, but not it appears it is working correctly. Whew! The Sharks open on Oct 9th. :o)

Enough for tonight. I'll try to keep a more regular schedule. .

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

125 years ago today

125 years ago, the entire world shook. Almost literally.

On Aug 26-27, 1883, the volcano Krakatau/Krakatoa blew it's lid. It had simmered for several months, spitting out ash and smoke, but nothing like today. Krakatoa is a volcano island sitting between Java and Sumatra in the southeast Asian Indonesia.

Why is some volcano eruption 125 years ago important? Listen to the effects around the world:
  • The volcano eruption had the force of 200 megatons of TNT, roughly equivent to 13,000 times the force of the "Little Boy" used in Hiroshima, Japan in WWII
  • The sound of the explosions (actually at 10:20am on Aug 27 1883) were so loud, they were measured at 183 dB 100 miles away. Let me put this into perspective: A jet engine at 100 meters produces about 110-140 dB. This was 100 miles. 134 dB is supposedly the threshold of pain. Anyone within 100 mile radius of the explosion would have not only heard the explosion, but would have lost their hearing (at least maybe temporarily)
  • The blast was audible in Perth, Australia, 2200 miles away, and also the island of Rodrigues, nearly 3000 miles away (and 4 hours after the event). The Guinness Book of World Records reports that the blast was heard on over 1/13 of the surface of the earth.
  • The pressure shockwave from the final blast was measured on barometers all over the world. In fact, the wave was measured to circle the globe atleast 7 times, days after the event.
  • According to an official Dutch count (Indonesia being a Dutch colony at the time), the eruption and resulting tsunamis killed 36,417, however unofficial counts place the death toll somewhere around 120,000. These tidal waves were reported anywhere from 100-130 feet high.
  • In 1884, the year following the eruption, average temperatures around the globle dropped 2.16 degrees F due to ash in the upper atmosphere. The blast shot ash up to 50 miles high
  • The ash in the upper atmosphere would have caused spectacular blood red sunsets all around the globe for years. The yellow light of the sun cutting through the earth at an angle at sunrise/sunset usually causes the reddish color, however it would have been amplified by the ash. It's thought that Edvard Munich's painting "The Scream" was directly influenced by the eruption, despite the fact that he was in Norway.
The power and effects of an eruption like this leave me in awe.

More info:

Monday, August 18, 2008

Day 13: Cabo San Lucas

For those of you just joining us (or if you've forgotten since I've taken forever), I'm doing a recap of my 15-day Disney Magic repositioning cruise through the Panama Canal. DCL repositioned the Magic from Port Canaveral to San Pedro for the summer, and actually just yesterday set sail back. Onto the magical day in Cabo.

I woke up the morning of Cabo early (we had to adjust our clocks another hour back), and woke up with a bit of a sore throat. Some other cruisers called it "the Cabo crud." It was fitting. Regardless, I woke up around 6am-ish, looked out our stateroom window, and saw this:


Wow... Ok so just take me back right now! The blue ocean, the marine layer, the light off the rocks... Yep, this was my fav place. We took...ok everybody say it with me... a city tour.

20080522_102234Our first stop was a hotel, overlooking the small bay of Cabo. Cabo San Lucas literally means the cape of Saint Luke. If not, I just made that up. Don't blame me, I took 2 years of "thank-you-very-much" at St. Pats, and don't even remember any French. Except... oh nevermind. Where was I.... Ah yes, Cabo. And city tours. Turns out our tour guide (a lovely woman who gave us her email address and I've forgotten, but it had something to do with smile 2000 and yahoo) anyway, she teaches Spanish up in Chester, CA which is just across Lake Almanor from where I went to Sierra Bible Camp. Back in the day. My parents wanted to take a picture of me, so I finally posed next to some sort of agave plant. Maybe I should have taken off my backpack, I look like a photogeek wanna-be.

Back to our city tour, we next went to San Juan de Cabo, I guess John was Luke's brother. And they both had capes. Like superheroes. Here's the town square in San Juan de Cabo, and the family.

The third stop was to Cactimundo, a cactus farm! They created this cactus arangement just for us. You can see more cactus photos on my photo gallery.

Our final stop was at a glass blowing place. The glass was beautiful!

20080522_125911 20080522_130353

The tour ended and they gave us the option of being dropped off in the city, rather than being taken back to the dock to reboard the ship. We stopped in town, did some sightseeing and shopping before heading back. We stopped by the famous Cabo Wabo. Dad and I were going to get Hawaiian shirts, but they were like $75 so we said no thanks. :)

Before heading back to the ship, I went around to the far side and got one last shot of the beautiful Disney Magic:
20080522_144548 20080522_170706

At night, we had our last evening in Animator's Palate. It was "Pirates in the Carribbean" night, although we had been in the Pacific for several days. Just don't teach the kids. Grandpa looks like a menacing pirate, if only he could see through his bandana. Patricio, our assistant dining server found a butter knife, and you know pirates of the Pacific with butter knives are always up to no good!

I was really not hungry this evening for dessert, so when it came time for me to order, I simply said I'd pass. Maybe they took that a little too literally!


One last look at the beautiful Cabo San Lucas at sunset:


We went up on deck 10 for the Pirates in the Carribbean party! It was chilly, in fact I got a nifty sweatshirt that I plan on wearing this winter. The captain turned the boat, and we had a nice fireworks show to cap off the evening. It looked like there were plenty of people wanting to get pictures of the fireworks show! I have more fireworks and pictures in the gallery.

Check back again soon for the last two days at sea, embarkation in San Pedro, one exhausting day at Disneyland, and the end of the trip at!

Day 12: Puerto Vallarta

20080521_075751Puerto Vallarta was a cute little city! It was definitely smaller than Acapulco. We went on... yes, you guessed it, another city tour! The zip line excursion was all booked, and golf was way too expensive.

The first thing you notice is Wal-Mart is directly across the street from the ship. How about that! Yes, we went... I found an awesome gray silky button-up shirt with iguanas on it.

We had another cruise ship come into port just after us. I didn't think there'd be enough room for the both of us to fit!

20080521_095114 Puerto Vallarta is a city of iguanas. We saw several on our short walk through part of the city. It was neat to get to walk around the city with our group. We passed shops, eateries, street painters, even went in an old Catholic church.

What really caught my eye was the flora. I got several shots of some flowers that just really caught the sun beautifully:

20080521_104155 20080521_104245

We didn't really do much that afternoon. We rested. That evening I didn't even take pictures of the dinner menus! The next morning we'd be pulling into Cabo San Lucas for our last port of call. And it was my favorite. Tune in next time (I promise it won't be a month!) at

Friday, August 15, 2008

Evening Music

My my... how time flies. It's been a while since I posted! I am working on finishing my cruise pics and trip report, I promise.

I recently (like 3 min ago) went through my MP3 collection (well most of it) and pulled out a list of evening music, nite time music, going to bed music, or even falling asleep music. Music that isn't hard, doesn't have a driving beat, and doesn't get the heart racing.

It features some jazz, some acoustic, some classical, some rock, some christian bands, some old school, some new school.

There might be a few suprises. BoyzIIMen is definitely old school. I remember playing this CD in 7th grade for the 8th grade graduation with Brooke. Donna Lewis "I Love You, Always Forever": yeah, I know it's really pop-ish, but I like it. I bought this single CD the day I got my drivers' license, Monday Sept 30, 1996. Hillary Duff... what can I say, I think it's a good song! ;) I bought the Hootie album in Japan with Katie and Dave. Jars of Clay fits my mellow mood quite a bit, so they are well represented. Jim Brickman, I think this song was in my wedding. "Bittersweet" indeed! Journey's "Lights" makes me think of the bay bridge, covered in fog, with the city (*the* city) in the background. Makes me homesick every time. Shawn Mullins' "Lullaby" reminds me of freshman year of college. Snow Patrol is one of my new favorites. Starship's "Sara" reminds me of my first crush... in kindergarden! That was back when I had velcro shoes. You know the ones, and you had 'em too. Admit it!!

Do you listen to music before/when you go to bed or use music to start to relax and help fall asleep? If so, what are your favorites? Leave me a comment on!

Here's my complete list:
Alfred Brendel - Mozart Piano Sonata in A, KV 331: 1. Tema con variazioni
Alfred Brendel - Mozart Piano Sonata in A, KV 331: 2. Menuetto
Alfred Brendel - Mozart Piano Sonata in A, KV 331: 3. Alle turca: Allegretto
Benny Weinbeck - Love Lights
Benny Weinbeck - Sweetheart
Bleach - Waving Goodbye
Boyz II Men - It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday
Caedmon's Call - There's A Stirring
Cake - Sad Songs And Waltzes
Chris Rice - Deep Enough To Dream
Chris Rice - Nothin'
Dave Matthews Band - Crash Into Me
Donna Lewis - I Love You Always Forever (Sylk Edit)
Eagles - Desperado
Enya - Orinoco Flow
Eric Clapton - Blue Eyes Blue
Eric Clapton - Layla
Eric Clapton - Tears in Heaven
Eric Clapton - Wonderful Tonight
Extreme - More Than Words
Hallmark - Clair de Lune
Hallmark - Largo from Xerxes
Hallmark - Meditation from Thais
Hilary Duff - Someone's Watching Over Me
Hootie & the Blowfish - Goodbye
Hootie & the Blowfish - Not Even The Trees
James Taylor - You've Got A Friend
Jars Of Clay - Dig
Jars Of Clay - Frail
Jars Of Clay - Hand
Jars Of Clay - Lonely People
Jars Of Clay - Much Afraid
Jars Of Clay - My Heavenly
Jars Of Clay - Needful Hands
Jars Of Clay - No One Loves Me Like You
Jars Of Clay - Overjoyed
Jars Of Clay - River Constantine
Jars Of Clay - This Road
Jewel - You Were Meant For Me
Jim Brickman - Bittersweet
John Lennon - Imagine
Josh Groban - You Raise Me Up
Josh Groban & Charlotte Church - The Prayer
Journey - Lights
Les Miserables - A Little Fall Of Rain
Les Miserables - Empty Chairs At Empty Tables
Les Miserables - Stars
Lisa Loeb - Stay (Acoustic)
Phantom of the Opera - The Music Of The Night
Miles Davis - It Never Entered My Mind
Newsboys - The Tide
Norah Jones - Don't Miss You At All
Norah Jones - Little Room
Norah Jones - Painter Song
Norah Jones - The Long Day Is Over
Norah Jones - The Nearness Of You
Norah Jones - Turn Me On
Nouveaux - I'll Cry Too
Petra - He's Been in My Shoes
PFR - Garden
R.E.M - Everybody Hurts
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Aeroplane
Restless Heart - I'll Still Be Loving You
Restless Heart - The Bluest Eyes In Texas
Richard Marx - Now And Forever
Richard Marx - Right Here Waiting For You
Richard Marx - Silent Scream
Richard Marx & Donna Lewis - At The Beginning
Seal - Kiss From a Rose
Semisonic - Closing Time
Shawn Colvin - Never Saw Blue Like That
Shawn Mullins - Lullaby
Sierra - I Know You Know
Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars
Starship - Sara
The Doors - People Are Strange
The Eagles - Peaceful Easy Feeling
The Katinas - Draw Me Closer
Vertical Horizon - He's Everything you Want

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tuesday Quickie

I'm working on the last few entries of my trip, here's a quick funny of math conversions:
  1. Ratio of an igloo's circumference to its diameter = Eskimo Pi
  2. 2000 pounds of Chinese soup = Won ton
  3. 1 millionth of a mouthwash = 1 microscope
  4. Time between slipping on a peel & hitting the ground = 1 bananosecond
  5. Weight an evangelist carries with God = 1 billigram
  6. Time it takes to sail 220 yds at 1 nautical mile/hr = Knotfurlong
  7. 16.5' in the Twilight Zone = 1 Rod
  8. Half a large intestine = 1 semicolon
  9. 1,000,000 aches = 1 megahurt
  10. Basic unit of laryngitis = 1 hoarsepower
  11. Shortest distance between two jokes = A straight line
  12. 453.6 graham crackers = 1 pound cake
  13. 1 million-million microphones = 1 megaphone
  14. 2 million bicycles = 2 megacycles
  15. 365.25 days = 1 unicycle
  16. 2000 mockingbirds = 2 kilomockingbirds
  17. 52 cards = 1 decacards
  18. 1 kilogram of falling figs = 1 FigNewton
  19. 1000 milliliters of wet socks = 1 literhosen
  20. 1 millionth of a fish = 1 microfiche
  21. 1 trillion pins = 1 terrapin
  22. 10 rations = 1 decoration
  23. 100 rations = 1 C-ration
  24. 2 monograms = 1 diagram
  25. 4 nickels = 2 paradigms
  26. 4 statute miles of intravenous surgical tubing at = 1 IV League
  27. 100 Senators = NULL
Have a great Tuesday!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Day 11: En route to Puerto Vallarta

We had one sea day in between Acapulco and our next port of Puerto Vallarta. Here's the Indiana Jones-esque map:

I didn't take many pictures on the sea day, you've seen lots of pictures of the boat. I didn't even take a picture of the menus! I bet they were good tho. Steak, chicken, seafood, something memorable I'm sure.

Our special guests for this evening were Joey Fatone from N'SYNC and Alfonso Ribeiro who played Carlton on "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air." They were the evening entertainment!

Joey sang "Under the Sea" and needed some help with the words. ;o)

They actually did a pretty good job, I thought Alfonso had a very good voice!

That's it for today folks! The next post will cover Puerto Vallarta, the city of iguanas, the Mexican navy, and Wal-Mart. Stay tuned at!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Day 10: Acapulco

20080519_121008Acapulco... a city with a mysterious name. Supposedly the Pacific coast resort town became famous because Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton came here for their honeymoon, and the rest is history. Something like that. It was a big, interesting, busy place.

We pulled into the harbor later in the morning, around 10:30-11am. My family had a city tour bus ride with the famous Acapulco cliff divers. It was pretty cool. I've been trying to work on a neat slideshow, frame by frame of the cliff divers diving off the cliff, but it is going to take waaaay too long to finish. Maybe another blog entry!

20080519_121017The city tour took us down the main drag and through Acapulco's three districts. I don't remember what they are, diamond, gold, and silver? Something like that.

We went down and drove by a really expensive area, armed guards at entrances and we couldn't really go anywhere. I got a few good shots from the bus tho.

This is a really nice looking area that we didn't get to go see. I looked very scenic, a beautiful little cove with a wonderful beach:


We drove past this nice hotel, it was Mayan-inspired, can't you tell??


For my good friends Jeremy and Amanda, Mexican gelato (with Internet access):


We did see the cliff divers. If I find the inspiration, I'll make a cool animation of them jumping from the cliff. Or you can just take my word that they did it and save me the trouble!


My grandparents ended up on a different bus somehow, I personally don't think that Jewish Mexican tour buses scare me, but I guess there's always exceptions!


Dinner the night of Acapulco was the Mexican Riviera night, complete with Minnie's Mexican Party (or something like that) later that evening:

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I met Suzi (on the left) in the cafe one evening, and we chatted for a bit. I saw her later at the Minnie party serving drinks and posing for someone else, so I decided to snap a shot myself! I found out later, Suzi had her wisdom teeth pulled when we stopped in Cabo San Lucas. Ouch!


We pulled out of port about 10:00pm local time, waving goodbye to the city of Acapulco.

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One interesting shot, taken on deck 10 aft, on the right is Palo (mmmmmm), with the ship's stacks and the bright moon in the distance.


That's it for now! Our next night would feature two special guests, who all children of the early 90s will recognize. Check back soon for our special guest, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas and Los Angeles at!