Saturday, September 18, 2010

Write a Post, Help a Dog

We're taking a little break from the Taiwan stories and I'm not even going to blog about Talk Like a Pirate Day, even if TLAPD is tomorrow.  Instead, tomorrow is the deadline for posting an entry that mentions Pedigree's shelter donation program.  Simply by making this blog entry and linking it back to their site, I've taken advantage of their generous offer to donate 20 lbs of food to an animal shelter.

Similarly, if you go to their Facebook page and "like" it, they'll donate a cup of food to a shelter.  Seems like a great idea to me.  So get on over to Pedigree's FB page and click on the "Help Dogs" tab.

Here's the full list of others who have blogged about Pedigree.  At the time of writing this, that's over 250 blogs or 5,000 lbs of dog food being donated.  No telling how much they've gotten from Facebook fans.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Taiwan Retrospective

Continuing with more photos from Taiwan, here I am enjoying a big steaming basket of dumplings.  Karl wanted pot stickers and this is as close as we got, which was very good. 

Later we walked through Chang Kaishek's Memorial Garden--lovely late in the day. 

It's quite an amazing place with huge gateways, grand promenades, and meticulously kept gardens.

Next installment, Dr. Sun Yatsin's Memorial and Taipai 101, the 2nd tallest building in the world.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Back from Taiwan

Whew!  What a whirlwind trip!  Last Tuesday I was in Taiwan and by last Friday I was back in Albuquerque. 

Door-to-door it took 26 hours to make it from ABQ to TPE.  Thank the gods of airline upgrades, this was business class from San Fran to Taipei.  That more than makes up for the non-reclining seat in the ABQ-SFO leg (watch out in row 12 or higher of a CRJ-200).

We arrived late Monday night.  Tuesday morning, without missing a beat, we met with our Taiwanese colleagues and ventured out to Chinshan to view the proposed storage site.  

That evening our host took us into Keelung.  Since it was the end of Ghost Month, we hiked up a hill in the city center to a temple where preparations were underway for the Ghost Night festivities.  Here's a panorama stitched together with Hugin from 8 separate photos--it's a large temple and one can't back up far enough to get the entire thing in a single frame with a 35 mm lens.

The tables are loaded with hundreds of offerings to the ancestors.  We wouldn't want hungry ghosts causing problems in the year ahead. 

Afterwards our gracious host took us to a sumptuous seafood dinner--sashimi, steamed shrimp, spiny sea urchin roe, squid, hermit crabs, roast frogs, and much more.  Very tasty.

Stand by for more photos tomorrow as I catch up on all of last week's travel adventures.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Bound for Taipei

Well, after a summer spent at home, it's time to hit the road again.  This time we're heading to Taiwan to look at the Chen Shan #1 Dry Cask Spent Fuel Facility.

The question has occasionally come up, "what doe the well accoutred bear take with him on a trans-Pacific trip?"

Here's Schlepp while packing (click to enlarge).  The key to the letters is as follows:

A.  Snacks, very important, especially on a 20+ hour trip
B.  DOP kit
C.  Jura single malt Scotch, 3 oz max allowed in carry-on
D.  Shampoo and conditioner, ditto
E.  Schlepp himself, most important
F.  Tempurpedic pillow, since airlines are now reneging on creature comforts
G. Umbrella, it's typhoon season in Taiwan right now

There you have it, the basic survival kit for the traveling bear.  Not shown are headphones, mp3 player, book, camera, and miscellany kept in the under-the-seat bag.  For the entire trip, we only have to deal with this one wheeled carry-on and the much smaller shoulder bag.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Back from Sonoma

It may have been rainy and cool in California, but the wine and cheese did not disappoint.  Ingrid's Cabin at the Glenelly Inn was the perfect place to tuck in to local wine, cheese, sausage, and breads while a cheery fire crackled in the fireplace. 

A day-trip took us to Jack London's ranch, where his widow built a museum in a large cabin to commemorate his short but active and prolific life and writings. Despite fog and drizzle, it was great for a bear from the desert to get his fur wet. Fascinating history, too. Here I am on top of a banister carved in a South Seas style.

Other diversions included the redwoods in Armstrong Grove and the rather exciting one-lane, two-way road to Austin Creek.

The drive up the coast to Fort Ross and down the coast to Bodega Bay was beautiful. Although extremely curvy with few guard rails, it wasn't nearly as scary as Austin Creek. Plus the B&B outside of Guerneville was terrific.  Here I am just south of Fort Ross. 

 Next... my adventures at the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden. 

Saturday, May 22, 2010

On the Road Again

Packing for the trip to California.  It's been a loooong time since I've been farther than White Rock.  Of course, emptying out the White Rock house, remodeling it, and getting it staged for sale has been a huge distraction since February.  Now that's done and it's time to relax a little. 

So it's off to Sonoma for a few days of wine and cheese.  Follow the adventure here and via Twitter--  The rest of the Homefront Brigade (including newest member, Tinsel, from the MMNA garage sale) plus the three cats will hold down the house along with our house-sitter Sheila. 

Stay tuned for adventure!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The White Rock Adventure

Haven't been traveling much this winter and spring... except up to White Rock.  It's time to sell Gert and Henry's home of 40 years.  But first, we had to empty it out, then replace the kitchen cabinets, replace all the linoleum, redo both bathrooms, re-carpet the bedrooms, and stage the house for sale. 

Whew!  It's been a lot of work but the kitchen looks great. 

Along with all this, Ty has had a big oral surgery.  Luckily, he's been sharing his Haagen-Dazs ice cream shake with me.  Here I am on Henry's old desk in what once was the most cluttered room in the house--his office and computer room.