Archive for the 'Seattle' Category


Random pictures I found on my phone

Sometimes I load the pictures off my phone. Well, at least I have now done so once.

Portland
Portland

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Meryl and Abby on the bus

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Nepali restaurant

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Callie demonstrates the proper technique for eating cheetos

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Jon explains the “Suck Threshold” between “Boring” and “Innovative Shit”



hello world!

According to Abby today is blog de-lurking day, a.k.a. a time to reveal yourself as a reader of someone’s blog by posting a comment. In my case, I suppose it makes an excuse to stop lurking on my own blog and catch you all up (faithful readers) on what I’ve been up to since Sept. 4.

September

  • After a few more false cooking starts, I eventually gathered the equipment I needed and started to feel more settled in to my new apartment:

    View Larger Map
  • I welcomed and started getting to know the new bunch of 8 volunteers at the Mennonite Voluntary Service house. They are a fun group and I’ve enjoyed hanging out with them once or week (sometimes more!) for bible study and watching The Office.
  • I took the train down to Oregon for a weekend, to visit ONE/Northwest‘s Portland office as well as James, Darla, Levi, and Bethany in Salem…great to see each of you! Unfortunately I lost my camera on this trip, so the photos included here are thanks to friends…
  • I spent 3 days at a ONE/Northwest staff retreat on a lake not too far away. This was a wonderful time of getting to know my colleagues better and improving our shared vision of how our organization can be most effective at helping address the climate crisis (at least, when I wasn’t getting distracted by a certain server crisis). And I got to introduce the staff to Cowtris during our no-talent night.

    the web team works to avert a crisis???

    not cold

  • I hosted a homemade ice cream party in honor of my 23rd birthday, which was a great success with some 30 guests who struggled to navigate the tight confines of this apartment.

October

  • I had the privilege to attend the 2008 Plone Conference in Washington, D.C. (Plone is an open source content management system used for building websites; I use it extensively at work and have enjoyed getting involved in contributing to the community that develops the software, as I described in the new Plone section of this blog). In addition to spending plenty of time doing geeky things like giving a talk on debugging Plone, I had some awesome Ethiopian food and spent some great times with Kyle and Christy (helping them decorate their apartment, watching nature documentaries, and trying to figure out how to get to the other side of the railroad tracks) as well as Don, Rosanna, Sharada, Eric, and Alberto (playing games and giving lessons in proper Facebook ettiquette).

    Plone Conference 2008

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  • I made my infamous appearance as the bear market at the MVS Halloween party.

    RAAAAAAWWWR!

Whoops, it’s past my bedtime and I still have 2 months to go…guess there will have to be another installment sometime soon.



on What I Do at Work

I just posted a quarterly report for Mennonite Voluntary Service, which serves as a recap of the past 3 months and a bit of a window into what I do all day long.



on Adventures This Past Weekend

Parents! Hiking! Sunshine! Warmth!

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on Work and Play

I’ve been working a lot lately. Like, 110 hours in the past two weeks a lot. Mostly because I agreed to help RedPost Inc. (where I worked last summer) prepare the software for their new and improved Signbeta, a simple digital sign / photo frame which can be controlled via our website. (If you need to distribute content to a bunch of physical locations quickly and easily, check it out!) So that has consumed many of my evenings…It’s been an exhausting two weeks, but fun.

Today I scarcely touched the computer — a much-deserved break. Instead I hacked at the blackberries (an ongoing project), mowed the lawn, took a walk, finished The Kite Runner, ate some soup (thanks Meryl) and played the piano. Lovely!



on New Arrivals at the Seattle VS House

The following have all shown up in the past couple weeks:

Andy
Andy (former VSer who’s moving back to town and staying here temporarily)

Ajax
Ajax (a friend’s Doberman who we are dog-sitting for a few months)

Elrond
Elrond (my new laptop!)



on the Care and Feeding of Household Appliances

I am learning not to panic too much when my housemates erupt in impassioned cries of “It’s not working!”

There was the furnace. It didn’t run for half a day, a few weeks back, which was annoying when I got home to be greeted by 58 degrees. But the fix was as simple as replacing the batteries in the thermostat.

And this evening, we discovered that the refrigerator had gone on the fritz. We had to throw out the milk and ice cream and some other assorted perishables, and cram the remainders into fridge #2 (which fortunately exists and is large). However, upon my inspection, I unplugged the fridge, re-plugged it, twiddled a few knobs inside, and lo and behold, it roared back to life. It’s very satisfying when a non-sentient being like a refrigerator responds so readily to the magic touch, if I do say so myself.

Incidentally, it seems just a bit incongruous that we have one device designed to keep things warm, and another designed to keep things cool, operating in the same domain. Why can’t we just store things outside in the winter?



on a New Year and a New Room

Happy 2008, everyone!

Late, you say? psssh.

I have a new room! (Thanks to Trent finishing his VS term and the subsequent reshuffling.) It has all sorts of goodies…a window seat and sconces and a spinny chair. Not to mention over twice as much space as any room I’ve had in recent history.

Here is a shot of my handiwork on the western wall:
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You can tell it’s staged because the bed is made.



Tisn’t the Season

Today as I walked home I passed several establishments decked out with lights and greenery, as well as an ensemble singing “Christmastime in the City.” WHAT THE HECK?! We have all this technological gadgetry, and we can’t even celebrate our holidays in the right month???

Actually, I also notice that our primary election dates have been creeping forward as well. So maybe society knows something that our calendars don’t. Perhaps we should institute a leap month or two to put the calendar back in sync with what we’re actually doing. Forget the sun; it only shows its face while I’m at work anyway, these days.



on Being a Mennonite

Today I traveled to eastern Washington for the Mennonite Country Auction and Relief Sale. For those of you who don’t know, a relief sale is a type of event held around the country to raise funds to support the relief and development work of Mennonite Central Committee around the world. Mennonites gather from all around to gorge themselves and spend lots of money on quilts and antiques, all in the name of giving in the name of Christ to those in need. (I’ve heard that part of being Mennonite is living simply and reducing consumption…except on relief sale day!) Definitely it is a must-see ritual of the Mennonite subculture, and perhaps the closest thing that there is to a real Mennonite sacrament.

a $625 loaf of bread The auction opened with a loaf of bread. (sold for $625)

happy consumers of kraut runzas, groundnut stew, and homemade pies

stirring apple butter making apple butter (for sale in freshly sealed jars, still warm)

If you have been a Mennonite for any length of time, you are familiar with the “Mennonite game.” This is the strange (and unfortunately sometimes exclusive) ritual by which Mennonites interrogate new acquaintances to discover how they fit into the Mennonite web and (more importantly, if she is cute) check to see whether the two of you are cousins.

Some of the coincidental connections I discovered today:

  • the fellow I talked to at the MCC booth is a third cousin of the parents of one of my MVS housemates (a fact ascertained because I noticed that he shares her last name and hometown, and inquired)
  • a couple of decades ago, my MVS host parents helped start a church in Texas with the parents of a college friend who I attended a church small group with in Goshen

No need to freak out, says the Mennonite. It’s a small (Mennonite) world, and this is actually totally normal. So if I meet you and start asking strangely personal questions, don’t be taken aback. I’m just used to finding connections when I meet someone, and am trying to find a point of commonality.

It’s fall!