It's Good, It's Blog!
: Mon 26-Sep-2005 22:30 PDT
Playing the game of averages, in any given year, there are usually only a handful of parties that go above and beyond the party basics to transcend into the 'will-be-talked-about-a-lot' category. This is a story about one such party.
Grampy (pictured - yes, look again!) recently decided to purchase himself a house. Not just any house mind you, but the UFC, previously owned by Nick and frequently visited by all and sundry. An occasion was needed to mark this changing of the guard, and that occasion shall forever be known as Homecoming. On paper it was nothing more than a homecoming themed housewarming party but the execution was nothing short of spectacular. The basic premise was that it was to be treated as a Homecoming and only the very best in bad taste attire was acceptable. Nearly everyone joined in and made the effort to costume, something I think that helps bolster the party as people are more committed to the event. Be sure to check the pictures to bask in the wondrous outfits on show. Grampy easily won best outfit for the night, coming as the Principal/chaperone. Winning points came for originality and more importantly execution. That is not a bald cap in the picture, that is a partially shaved head. Half the fun of the night was watching different peoples initial reactions and the triple takes when the penny dropped and recognition was thrust upon them.
The whole party was a brilliant success and more fun than that one time at band camp. Halloween is not too far off, and with the bar raised for the remainder of the year I'm hoping there are more fun times ahead.
http://alexhand.com/Events/Homecoming/ for the captured moments from the night.Top of page
Holey Wow! :
: Sun 04-Sep-2005 00:30 PDT
Anyone who knew Dad shouldn't be at all surprised to know that I too am a golfer (I have blogged about it previously too, I promise there won't be too many more). Dad played 3 times a week, and most, if not all, our family holidays involved golf at whatever course Dad could find. I started at a young age, taking juniors lessons and playing in competitions. I had my own half-set of clubs that had been cut down to my size. We used to go and play fairly regularly as a family.
I experienced a bit of a lull during uni, I don't think I even had my own clubs at that stage anyway. When I inherited Dad's clubs I made a slow comeback, usually restricted to hitting a bucket of balls at a driving range, with the very occasional game. So it has been with great joy that I've really gotten back into golf over here. As planned and previously mentioned it has turned into a regular Sunday afternoon event with some of the guys over here. What started at the driving range has since progressed to games at a nearby Par 3 course, and even a couple of full 18 hole rounds. I'm playing the best golf I have ever played and am thoroughly enjoying myself, still improving as I go.
What happened on hole 7 of the Crossroads Par 3 on the afternoon of Tuesday the 23rd of August will be something I will always remember: I got my first hole in one!!! I can remember when Dad got his one and only hole in one, on the 3rd at his local course. He was absolutely ecstatic, a feeling I can now fully comprehend. Grampy had taken the week off to continue moving stuff into his newly purchased house and for PAX attendance, and we decided to indulge in a round at the par 3. It's a 9 hole course that you play twice, and we were on our second circuit, both playing rather nicely. I teed off, a lovely lofted 9 iron heading straight for the pin. We both commented something along the lines of 'Nice' which was upgraded to 'Nice!' once it landed on the green not far from the pin and started rolling towards it. Then it just disappeared, and after a brief silent moment of comprehension I let out a whoop that resulted in everyone else on the course looking our way while we laughed and hi-fived. It's not something I'll ever forget, and something I do hope I'll get to repeat, given the many games I have ahead of me.Top of page
: Sat 03-Sep-2005 23:00 PDT
So it's not that August was particularly quiet, there was plenty going on. For the most part I think it was just that nothing was really all that out of the ordinary, and therefore not really worth writing about. Summer continued being Summer, the weather was warm/hot, the skies clear and sunny. Before I knew it August had rolled into September, and here we are. The last week of August certainly broke the mold, stories and most likely pictures of which will follow shortly.Top of page
Hey how ya doin' :
: Thu 28-Jul-2005 23:00 PDT
"Sorry ya can't get through, it's coz I changed my number and you don't have the new"
Ok, so for the few people who actually recognise that, yes it's a De La Soul inspired ditty. I have finally organised a US SIM for myself and my Australian number is soon to be disconnected. I've had that number for years, and it's going to be strange not having it. I won't miss the regular wrong number calls from my South Australian friends though, who, despite numerous brief conversations, never managed to update their contact details. If you'd like to update your contact details with my new number send me an email or catch me on Messenger. Somewhere down the track I'll probably get organised enough to do a big group email, but for now this should suffice. As a bonus I'll also give you the email addresses* that will allow you to send me free sms and mms, to which I can reply at local costs.
*Provision of email addresses is pursuant to the recipient being able to correctly calculate time differences. I don't want to be receiving sms at 8pm AEST!Top of page
The 7th Inning Stretch :
: Sun 17-Jul-2005 19:35 PDT
Continuing with a month of 'firsts', Greg and Stacey had spare tickets and were kind enough to invite us along to watch the Mariners play the Orioles and Safeco Field last night. It was my first baseball game so I was quite excited to be going, and am happy to report that I'm not disappointed with the experience. Traffic wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting (on the way out was another story), which was a good start to things. I'm not sure what the capacity of Safeco Field is but there was a decent crowd in attendance. Apparently Saturday games don't get as many people, so for a n00b like me it was a good introduction without the hassle of a big game crowd. Everything seems organised to cope fairly well with the masses. We got in and seated without a problem, and there are a _lot_ of food and drink places available. We had excellent seats in the first level of seating, situated in the area directly behind the home plate.
The game itself is easy to follow. The basics are enough to enable you to follow the game without needing to know the intricate details in order to know what is taking place in front of you. To its' great benefit, it's also a game that gets on and actually plays the game. There's no needless timewasting with timeout after timeout involved, making it easy to watch as there is almost always something of interest happening. Even with the netting in place behind the catcher, two foul balls came within a few people of our seats. I saw a home run, plus a few exciting moments during general play. Nothing spectacular from home town hero Ichiro unfortunately, but the Mariners did go on to win at the bottom of the 9th which was a nice bonus. The game took a little under 3 hours to complete, but I certainly wasn't bored at any point. I also found out that the 7th inning stretch is not really a game related term, but crowd related. Everyone stands up to stretch their legs and sing 'Take Me Out To The Ballgame'. While baseball is not something I'll follow (I've pretty much given up following anything seriously), I certainly won't mind going to watch a game once in the odd while.
Photos from the game are located at http://alexhand.com/Events/Mariners/Top of page
: Sat 16-Jul-2005 00:30 PDT
I just got back from the Paramount Theater, having seen Beck in concert. It was my first time for both, and neither was disappointing. It also marks my first musical experience in Seattle, the home to so much music. We were in general admission, down on the floor not too far from the front with a pretty good view of the entire stage. Granted we did have the tallest person in attendance in front of us, but to one side, so it wasn't as much of an inconvenience for us as it was for the 5ft girl stuck behind him.
We decided to skip the opening act, opting instead to partake in the excellent beer and food at the Gordon Biersch in Pacific Place. Perhaps we should have gone in order to get our monies worth. While the music was excellent, and the whole show a little different (the rest of the band sat down to a meal on stage while Beck played an acoustic set) it was very short, with only a one song encore. So short in fact we worked out that we spent longer in Seattle's lovely traffic than we did at the concert itself. I'm looking forward to the traffic again tonight when we head in to watch the Seattle Mariners play the Baltimore Orioles (that's baseball for those of you playing at home).Top of page
More! More! :
: Thu 14-Jul-2005 21:00 PDT
This is nothing more really than a quick thanks to Rach for finding and sending these over to me. :) I give you, Statler and Waldorf! Be sure to check out their return to the public eye at From The Balcony, a weekly movie review segment with their unique perspective and dialogue. Unfortunately, if like me you can remember the original Statler and Waldorf, you'll notice that the voices are nothing like their original counterparts and they're not nearly as witty or mean. Hopefully with some feedback we'll see a return to the grumpy old men we know and love.
Due to the probable copyright infringment involved I won't link to any audio snippets from their Muppets appearances, although you can Google them for yourself easily enough. Instead, here's a little excerpt:
STATLER: That was the worst thing I've ever heard!
WALDORF: It was terrible!
WALDORF: Well it wasn't that bad.
STATLER: Oh, yeah?
WALDORF: Well, there were parts of it I liked!
STATLER: Well, I liked alot of it.
WALDORF: Yeah, it was GOOD actually.
STATLER: It was great!
WALDORF: It was wonderful!
STATLER: Yeah, bravo!
One Sunny Day In Seattle :
: Wed 13-Jul-2005 15:00 PDT
Bev and Richard were recently in town for a few days (which happened to coincide with a weekend) at the end of what sounded like a rather marvelous and lavish tour involving trains, busses and a week on a cruise ship. It was great that they could spend a couple of days in town and catch up. I was more than willing to serve as local tour guide, and so we set off to cover the Seattle 'must sees'. Well, I don't think I've ever been into Seattle on a Saturday afternoon before. The weather was in fine form, sunny and warm with the bluest skies you've ever seen. I have never seen so many people out and about in Seattle before! Everywhere was bustling and alive.
We did the usual walk through the Pike Place Markets (which was jam packed with people!), ride the monorail and up the Space Needle. We were up the top of the needle when their cruise ship departed for the next week of buffets and shuffleboard. It was quite incredible to watch. It reversed out of the dock, and then this enormous floating city pivoted on the spot before heading out to sea, all the while barely disturbing the glassy surface of the bay. A visit to Krispy Kreme was in order and, in what I'm now convinced is a far reaching conspiracy, they were once again NOT baking upon our arrival. During their few days here we also managed to fit in the Underground Tour and a walk around Pioneer Square, a trip to Microsoft, some shopping and plenty of eating.
It was a trip of discovery for me too. Normally I'd take the bus if I ever had to venture into Seattle, it's cheap and is virtually door to door from our apartment. With three of us though, driving seemed more convenient and with some trepidation I headed into Seattle. It turns out it's not nearly as bad as it looks. On our way home I did discover that once a year they close the 520 bridge for maintenance... Being one of only two bridges linking the Eastside and Seattle this leads to some rather interesting traffic conditions and quite a detour for Northern travelers.Top of page