I haven’t been posting much on this blog lately.  I started another blog, and have been posting more regularly (but still irregularly to that one).  It’s at:



A few months ago, I purchased this pair of Vibram Sprints from Zombie Runner in Palo Alto.  Yes, they look funny and I had to endure my coworkers laughing at my “frog feet,” but they are incredibly comfortable, and solve a lot of my shoe woes.  I felt weird wearing flip-flops (too casual) and sneakers (too sporty?) to work all the time, so I was looking for comfortable flats, but then they either gave me blisters or my feet were too sweaty in them.  Now I just wear my vibrams all the time….EXCEPT when they smell so bad I decide to give them a rest/wash.

So after a few days of continuous wear, they really start to smell BAD. Washing them in the washing machine seems to work fine, but once they were really really dirty, and it they came out of the washer a little dirty still.  The best way to wash them seems to be to wash them in the sink with some soap and a toothbrush, so you can really get into all the toe areas.  Also, odor-destroying shoe/foot powder seems to keep the smell under control enough to wear it for a few more days… ALSO someone recommended buying socks to wear with it, and said that that helped tremendously with the stench.  The socks aren’t cheap though, coming in at about $12 each, and I’d probably have to buy at least 5 pairs if I want to wear them all the time?

All in all, best shoe purchase I’ve ever made, and I’d highly recommend them to anyone who likes toe freedom and walking barefoot =)

Pottery Classes!


I’ve recently started taking pottery classes at Blossom Hill Crafts, and I love it!  I’ve started a blog at jeanspottery.wordpress.com to keep track of my progress as well as keep track of what glazes I use for which pieces and how they turn out.  Tune in if you’re interested in how my classes are going…

Also, I’m sort of addicted to watching other people throw on the pottery wheel on YouTube…


For anyone who is learning Chinese, this add-on is a must have…I used to spent a lot of time copy-and-pasting text over to websites like pin1yin1 so that it would give me the pinyin equivalent, since I grew up speaking Mandarin, but my reading is rusty at best.  I thought it would be useful to have something that auto-displays the pinyin of characters when you select or hover-over characters, and did a quick search to find ChinesePera-kun.  After following the instructions to install it for Firefox 3.5, I enabled it by clicking on the little blue circle on my toolbar to toggle it on.  This is what it looks like if I hover over something:

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Very slick!  This is a huge timesaver for anyone learning Chinese.

If you’re been in the Bay Area and see a far-area white dome on the top of a mountain, you’re probably looking at Lick Observatory, home to the second largest telescope in the U.S. (as well as many other telescopes).  We made it up there a few weekends back for a night of their Music of the Spheres concert series.  The drive up was treacherous, and involved a lot of driving up the mountain precariously right next to sudden cliffs with no guard rails.  Needless to say, we were happy when we approached the Observatory (though I was not looking forward to the ride home in the dark).

We arrived around 7:30 so we were able to look around before the sunset.  The view was incredible, like being on the top of the world (or at least, top of the Bay Area).  Here’s a view of some of the windy roads we drove up to get to the Observatory:


Finally, we got there!  We were allowed to wander around a bit, then an hour-long concert.  After that we attended a great lecture about Adaptive Optics.  We were able to look through some of the Observatory’s telescopes, and later we saw Jupiter through some amateur astronomers’ telescope outside of the building.  Here’s one of the telescopes we looked through:


It’s a bit of a drive (over an hour from South Bay), but totally worth it.  If you can get them, the Summer Visitor Program tickets are significantly cheaper and feature two astronomy talks (but no concert or free mug).  They sell out almost immediately though, or so I’ve heard.  Not that I didn’t enjoy the concert, but when you drive 1.5 hours to an Observatory, astronomy is the main attraction =)

We recently had some friends over for brunch.  Tyler’s menu item was grilled cheese, so we bought some provolone, gouda and cheddar.  However, because there were so many other things to eat (french toast, croissants, scrambled eggs, and fruit), he ended up just making two grilled cheese sandwiches and cutting them in quarters.  They were delicious, but we were/are left with tons of cheese!  So we had a grilled cheese dinner where we sampled grilled cheese made from all three types.  Here are the sandwiches with handy labels =)

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This past weekend, we took Tyler’s mom (who was visiting from Ohio) to an Art and Wine Festival in Palo Alto.  I’d been to a few last year, but this one had by far the best artists.  It also had some cool chalk drawings that people did over the two days.  Because we went both days, we were able to see some of the pieces halfway done and then almost completely done:

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Princess Mononoke:

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This one was created by a mom and two daughters:

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Kepler at Fort Funston

We took Kepler to Fort Funston a few weeks ago, as it was highly recommended by all dog-owners.  He had a blast!

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There he is looking happy at the beach!  We literally saw hundred of happy dogs:

We also saw some hang-gliders overhead. P8090512

We also saw the most impressive dog, who ran straight up the steep cliffs in to retrieve a ball.  The incline is literally about 75-80 degrees with respect to the ground (almost perpendicular).

Perseid Meteor Shower

The perseid meteor shower is happening right now!  We went up to Monte Bello Open Space Preserve last night and stayed for two hours watching the meteor shower.  There were about 20 cars when we got there, including a pack of “teenagers” (they might have been closer to my age) who kept using a green laser pointer to point out constellations and meteors.  Very annoying, especially when you’re adjusting your eyes and looking out for any flashes of light, but it ends up just being them and their laser pointer.  It made me feel quite old, since I had one of those “stupid kids these days…” moments.

Anyways, we saw a good bunch of really good meteors, the kind where someone sees it first, and you hear lots of ooh-ing and then you turn in the direction of pointing, and then you still get to see a good trail of light!  There were a lot more smaller ones, but those were always the most exciting.

Our past trips to Monte Bello at night have been pretty quiet–you need an Astronomy permit to open the gate to the parking lot, so there aren’t usually that many people around.  I guess meteor showers are the exception.  If anyone lives in the Bay Area and is interested in Astronomy, you can request an Astronomy permit from the open space preserve website for free, and you can go up anytime after-hours to observe.  It’s a great program for amateur astronomers, since it’s a relatively close place where you can see the night sky with less light pollution.  Almost every time we’ve gone, we can see the Milky Way very clearly.

If you haven’t caught any meteors yet, there’s still time!  You should be able to see some tonight still.  Enjoy!

We’re going white water rafting and then going to Lake Tahoe for July 4th festivities this weekend! I’ve never done/been to either, except if you count artificial whitewater rafting I did in China. I hear the rafting places make you wear helmets, as well as sign a waiver, so I’m sort of scared of how turbulent the water will be. I hope I make it to watching fireworks Saturday night =)

Pictures to come after the weekend.