Monday, December 31, 2007

San Francisco

During the week I spent in Northern California, I only managed to fit in one afternoon of sightseeing in San Francisco.  

We went up to Coit Tower atop Telegraph Hill.

It's a good place to catch the view of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz.

We also went to Lombard Street where at Russian Hill, there's a block where the traffic is one-lane, one-way, downhill, featuring 8 switchbacks and a 27% grade.  

A block East we saw the Google Street View car.  I've tried looking for myself on the Google Maps Street Views, but no luck so far (I'm not even sure the picture is of the same day.  If you want to try to find me (blue jacket, no backpack or bag, standing next to a taller man), I'm on Lombard, the block East of Lombard and Leavenworth, on the North side of the street.).  The Google Street View car was very unimpressive, by the way.  You'd think it'd be some fancy, high tech van, but it was just a dark colored, old-looking sedan with a tiny Google Street View sign on the driver's door and a rotating camera on what looked like a homemade support a few feet above the car's roof.  

You wouldn't think steep streets would be so interesting, but it's pretty cool.  

Afterwards, we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and took a late afternoon stroll through the redwoods at Muir Woods.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

In Case You'd Like to See More of Me Online

Now I know what you all have been thinking:  weekly blog posts are not nearly enough online interaction with me.  In that case, here's the fairly exhaustive list of me online.

If you want to know what I'm reading:  click here (

If you want to know what I'm listening to: click here (  

And of course, I'm also on Facebook (I check-in vaguely regularly), Friendster and LinkedIn (I mostly ignore those accounts).  

(I assume that soon in the future, there will be a website that'll track my exact movements via GPS and send back video of what I see.)


Monday, December 24, 2007

Amsterdam, Finally

After Sean and I had to abort our trip to Amsterdam, I finally made it there when my parents came to visit me.   And a few days before 2008, I've finally managed to blog about it.

Look, how cute!

So, what can you do in Amsterdam with your parents?  A lot of art museums and the Anne Frank house.  The Anne Frank House is very crowded during the peak tourist season;  thankfully we visited after that and walked straight in.  It's the building with the dark, maybe black, street front.  

We went to Rembrandthuis, the Rijksmuseum, and the Van Gogh Museum. Of the three, my favorite was probably Rembrandt's house, if only for the tiny little beds inside of cabinets (they didn't need big beds since everyone slept propped up because they thought it was better for your health). I think I would have liked the Van Gogh Museum better except that I'd seen the excellent Van Gogh & Gauguin: The Studio of the South exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago a couple years back. 

And as promised by my Lonely Planet guide, that green metal thing is an open-air urinal (actually two, one on each end).  


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Goodbye Old Friend

My Christmas present this year will be a new iPod (a silver 80GB classic).  So it's time to say goodbye to my old iPod -- a white 10GB 3G with the buttons in a row on top of the wheel (I like the non-movable buttons!).  I got it for $80 (with the laptop rebate) and it wasn't until a few months ago that my iTunes library outgrew the hard drive.  After 4 1/2 years (3 years of which I used it every day), the hard drive never quit on me and it still has the battery capacity to make it through a 6 hour cross-country flight.  I was very sad to see it go (for the 10% recycling discount).  At the store, I gave it a good petting and told it that it was going to a better place.  


Friday, December 21, 2007


About a week ago, it started snowing for real.  The total amount of snowfall so far this winter in Boston is 27 inches.  The only reason that the piles of snow aren't above my head is that between snowing, it rains.  

By the way, I don't think it's snowed at all in Bonn, and in Bonn I wouldn't have to wait an undetermined amount of time for the bus to arrive.  


Monday, December 17, 2007

Washington, D.C.

Sean and I went to D.C. for the weekend, temporarily escaping the snow in Boston.  It was really nice to visit some old friends (Sarah, Tim and Laura Jean, Cathy and Francis).  We also did a little sightseeing:  the monuments, the Capitol, the National Archives, and the Air and Space Museum.  All in all, it was pretty chill and I didn't bring a camera, so I don't have pictures to share either.  By the way, the National Christmas Tree is terribly ugly (giant, plastic, light-up bows?!).


Thursday, December 06, 2007

In Which I Become an Aunt

Say hello to Julia Irene, who couldn't wait any longer and arrived last Friday, 3 weeks early and weighing in at 5 lbs 9 oz.

A real cutie, isn't she? I get to see her, live and in person, in 2 weeks.