Small World

Last week I traveled to Texas City to attend a training session. I was in Detriot awaiting my flight to Houston and I ran into Malavika. It turned out that she was on the same flight to Houston. (She was my first supervisor at Marathon Oil, and left to work for i2 3 years ago.) She is still at i2 and was surprised to hear that I was still working for MAP. On the flight I thought back recalling the exodus: Jeremy, Josh, Steve Z, Malavika, Dan… It was enjoyable thinking about corporate IT and my co-worker friends pre-SOX and pre-outsourcing.

Northern Europe

Anna Lou, Mary Lou, and I went to Northern Europe during July 2004. We visited the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. The trip entailed a guided tour (with Trafager) which setup a good framework for future self-guided excursions. I always like my 1st trip to a given foreign area to be led by a native guide. That way, I don’t walk by some must see attraction like an uncultured poopsie-doo. Also, most native guides offer great advice on things to see and do that are off the well beaten tourist path. We scratched the surface of Northern Europe this trip and I hope you enjoy the photos.

Miami

Mandy and I decided to get away from everything. We are visiting Miami this weekend. We enjoyed watching Miami defeat Ohio University today 40-20. It was the 50th annual band day and Miami was joined by quite a few local high school bands at half-time. After the game, Miami did their normal half-time show which was stellar.

I’ve had fun this weekend showing Mandy around Miami’s beautiful campus: the bluffs, the formal gardens, a stroll around Western campus, a stop at Bagel & Deli…

Texas is nice but it is good to be home

I was in Texas City for work this week. It was a long week and I got a lot accomplished. We stayed in Galveston, and I enjoyed watching the waves roll in on the Gulf of Mexico. Our hotel was right across the street from the Gulf of Mexico and looked like it had been hit by its share of tropical storms. I filled up on yummy seafood all week, following the track to obesity plan.

Brad and I went to an Astros game on my birthday. Minute Maid park is a great place to see a baseball game. It is located right in the heart of Houston. The Astros lost to the Brewers, but we still had a good time.

I got back too late to make it to the Marathon Basketball Banquet so I went over to Coffee Amici. Fortunately, it wasn’t full for the evening. I thoroughly enjoyed the live music and recommend you go see Joshw play tomorrow night and buy one of his CDs. Hell yeah!

Photos from trip out west

Chris, Gloria, Bear, and I drove from Adrian, Michigan to San Francisco, California. We took ~600 pictures from which I am posting ~300 pictures that Chris and I took. Chris’ photos are generally superior, but each gallery has some unique shots. You will notice that his 4MP Kodak with 10x optical zoom blows away my 3.2MP Pentax with 3x optical zoom on distance shots. Chris and I have some great wildlife shots including: a jack rabbit, a chipmunk, a bald eagle, mountain goats, rams, elk, buffalo…

Enjoy our pictures!
Chris’ photos
Asa’s photos

Cross Country Trip

Chris, Gloria, Bear (a 163 lb South African dog) and I started in Michigan with an RV followed by a Jeep Cherokee in tow. The destination was San Francisco. We visited the Black Hills, the Bad Lands, Mt Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Yellowstone, the Great Salt Lake, and Lake Tahoe on the way. Unfortunately, we missed seeing the Devil’s Tower, due to a navigational mishap. Before you suspect me as the culprit, I assure you I was not guilty this time around.

Chris and I both took our digital cameras along and took a lot of pictures. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough web hosting space to post them. I will post a subset of them in the near future. Chris’ west photos and my west photos. (Note to self: I need to buy a digital camera with better optical zoom. Chris’ 10x optical zoom came in especially handy.) The wildlife pictures from Yellowstone against the contrast of snow are my favorites along with Chris and I’s November swim in the Great Salt Lake. We also enjoyed the Boiling River, which is a natural hot tub of boiling water from deep in the earth’s crust and the near-freezing Yellowstone River a few feet away. Of course, snow was coming down as we sat in the Boiling River enjoying a great view of Yellowstone’s River and mountains.

It was a great trip and I recommend driving across the western US. Driving an RV is the only way to go and having an SUV at your disposal is a nice perk. Pick up some “Fat Tire” brew and head on a western adventure!

Weekend

On Friday night, Mandy and I went to Steve and Nicole’s pumpkin carving party. We had a great time carving pumpkins, playing ping pong, drinking warm spiced cider and sitting around the bonfire.

Saturday, we left to visit Miami University. Unfortunately, it was a cloudy day and it rained quite a bit. I took Mandy on a tour of the brick campus. We came upon the recently renovated McGuffey Museum. It was right next to a dorm (Wells Hall) I used to live in, and I always walked by. I wanted to visit the McGuffey’s home, but never had the opportunity before. My ancestors learned to read via the famous McGuffey readers. They are second in the number of printed copies only to the Bible.

I ran into quite a few people I knew from my tenure at Miami: Biff Rocha, Jeff Morrow, Nate Cash’s brother, John Lynch, Pat, and Joan Moynagh. It was nice to return to campus and still know a few people. Mandy and I stopped at Bagel & Deli for dinner. Then we were off to the Steel Drum concert (at Hall Auditorium). Afterwords, we joined John and Lisa for a water tower at First Run.

Sunday, we went to church and ran into Joan. We had a wonderful brunch at Di Paolo’s Restaurant in the Elms Hotel. It definitely featured engaging conversation. Unfortunately, our time at Miami quickly passed and it was time to head home.