Tuesday, February 25, 2014

One More Week Until Words of Radiance

One week until Words of Radiance comes out! Yopa, I'm talking to you!

I'm fairly certain I mentioned The Way of Kings (by Brandon Sanderson) in an earlier post around the time I first read it, but here's a quick summary: it starts a bit slow but is, overall, an incredible book. Those last 100 pages! SO good!

Words of Radiance is the second installment of The Stormlight Archive and it comes out on the 4th (next Tuesday). I've already pre-purchased it (on my phone) and am just awaiting it's arrival on my phone at midnight this coming Monday night. I haven't been this excited for a book in a long time.

In the meantime I've been building my excitement by re-listening to The Way of Kings. I'm of the opinion that it is good to have quiet time where you brain is unoccupied, no music, no shows, etc., but it has been very difficult not to constantly just have that book playing.

So...I just read some of the reviews (with no spoilers), and if it is possible, I'm even more excited now.

Anyone who has some free time on their hands this week and enjoys high fantasy, I suggest reading The Way of Kings this week so you can be ready for Words of Radiance come Monday night! It will totally be worth it!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wednesday Updates

Happy Wednesday! (I almost wrote Thursday!)

Let's see. This past weekend was lovely. We drove down to St. George to hang out with Duane, Shauna, and Angie for a few days. Not a super long stay, but a good one. Both the drive down and the drive back included much enjoyed talking time with Brandon. It's not like we don't already have gobs of time to talk, but sometimes driving, where there are few other things that can distract you, just facilitates it best. One of our current quandaries is where to set our target for our next large adventure. Not that either of us has large amounts of extra money to set aside for adventures, but I think it's always good to be looking forward to one, no matter when it is. Havasupai is a smaller potential repeat adventure this coming May, but we're still on the hunt for something big. If any of you have input where that is concerned, let us know!

St. George, though not as warm as we'd hoped it would be (forecast said 75 but we maybe got 50!), was still very pleasant. Brandon and I went running together Saturday afternoon and then met up with everyone at The Pizza Factory for a belated birthday dinner for Brandon. Dinner was followed by a break and then we followed Shauna and Duane a little later in the evening to their Square Dance (I feel like that might be quite the right title, but something like that) where they danced with a good number of people from all over. Very fun to watch. Though I know Brandon took some pictures (and I did actively think about it once or twice), I have no pictures to present for your enjoyment. I am working on that still.

We drove back Sunday night from St. George so we could have a quick recovery from our mini trip South and so Brandon could go to his soccer game on Monday night. I spontaneously decided at approximately 5:45 to run to Brandon's game location (7.7 miles away starting at 7:00), but Brandon picked me up sort of on the way around mile 5. I don't think I would have had any trouble making it the entire way, but I hadn't thought through my limited daylight very well.

I'm glad he picked me up though, because I would have hated to have missed his game. The last two (or three?) games his league team has played, his team has won by a lot. This go around, it was a pretty close game the entire time. I'm not overly familiar with the rules of soccer, but I have a general idea of when there is a foul. The refs at this particular game made a lot of calls that I would consider to be very poor calls, even with my limited experience. Even so, as the last seconds of the game wrapped up, the score was 5:6 with our team down one and in that last second (literally), after a few attempts, the ball finally found its way into the goal to tie the games. It happened so last minute that the cheers of the team and people watching drowned out the buzzer going off so we had to double check with the ref to verify that it had counted. Really cool moment.

Work has been exceptionally busy these last few weeks (not that I mind), and today threatened to bring snow down on our lovely mild winter (this was the first snow this month), but (after some very hard snowing) the sunshine decided it wasn't having any of it and it's all gone now. :)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Last of the Vietnam Videos?

Ok. I just went back and scanned through what Peter had posted to his YouTube space and here's one full video (with music) and another two I missed.


(Vietnam Offroad 2014)

(Vietnam - Local Color)


(Vietnam - Countryside)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Happy (Belated) Birthdays!

Well, hello! It's been a little while (little over a week?) since I last posted and there have been lots of good and interesting things since then.

To start with, Brandon and I celebrated his birthday at the end of January. It was a pretty chill day, with a light dinner at Olive Garden (his pick!) and then "Sort of The Rings" by the Off Broadway Theater downtown. It wasn't bad, but not even close to as good as "Doctor U" was. To finish the evening off I had a a 29-Clue treasure hunt all around Brandon's home and my home. Quite fun to plan and set up and then follow him as he went through it. The clues that went with it were all printed images of the different places things could be hidden, like these below.


Each clue led to the hiding place of another clue and small gift (fruit snacks, san pellegrino, etc.) with occasional larger gifts. I think the triumph of the hunt was that none of the clues/gifts were visible unless you looked for them. I've frequently hidden Riesens in Brandon's room as little surprises, but they've been usually half hidden. I managed to place everything this time in such a way that nothing was truly difficult to find, but nothing was obvious. :) And then I also tagged along to make sure he didn't have to turn over a room looking for something that was just in a slightly different part of the picture.

My parent's also celebrated my Dad's birthday this weekend in NYC with the Christmas tickets to see Waiting for Godot on Broadway with Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen. Fun!

Along with the fun of birthdays there have also been a few frustrating things. I had a flat tire on Friday night that we got fixed up (the valve stem was worn out) on Saturday. It started a little rough with the bolts being so tight that Brandon broke the wheel nut key when trying to loosen them. We popped on over to the tire place (conveniently right across the street) and in addition to buying a new key, they let us take a tank of air which easily allowed us to inflate the tire and just drive it back across the street. Easiest tire fix I've ever done.

Friday when I walked into Brandon's house to tell him about the flat tire (before we headed off to go rock climbing), he told me his bad news: For the second time (in less than six months?), someone broke into his car and stole a number of things. The first time it was pretty obvious - his car was stolen. This time it was much more subtle - to the point that it took him several days to connect the dots. His car doesn't show any signs of forced entry. And he didn't even have anything tempting visually in the main part of his car. He'd had his new ski boots in his trunk (along with his gym bag and racquetball racquet), and a pair of gloves in his little compartment between the driver and passenger seat. Nothing visible. The boots were in his car so that he could have his skis (which weren't in the car) adjusted to fit them (the skis were being refinished at a local sports store). So either Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday while his car was parked at work or at home on the street, someone had to specifically come along with the intent to search cars for valuables.

My guess would be that it happened at his work parking lot. If people can steal several cars (and even more car parts) out from under the noses of the parking lot security, someone could definitely come along and break into his car.

It's frustrating. And at moments like these, after discovering that some jerk has done this again, it's easy to lose a little bit of faith in human goodness.

Anyway, other good things still abound. We got gourmet donuts on Saturday after taking care of the tire and then gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner followed by going to see the Lego movie, which we quite enjoyed. Brandon's joined another soccer league, so he plays soccer once a week (and their corporate games are coming so he might get to play soccer in those too). He's been having reoccurring issues with shin splints and tennis elbow, but we're trying out calf compression sleeves (although we'll have to replace the pair that was in his stolen gym bag) for the shin splints and that seems to really be helping. I finally bought a running mask with a filter so I can feel more comfortable running out in the inversion. I just can't stand the treadmill for more than a mile or two. As soon as it is warm enough (although I'm not complaining about the buckets of rain instead of snow that we've been having), we can both go to a track and hit the training regime for the Spartan. But not yet.

Valentine's Day is this weekend, but as yet we have no plans for that. Perhaps rock climbing? Maybe West Coast Swing? We'll see!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

For Any Women I Know

So...I'm going to talk about bras...again. Just a little. I promise.

Obviously, bras are a point of issue for me. I don't regularly wear any bras that cost under $60. Not because I'm special or want to blow money on underwear, but rather because there are very very few stores that sell the correct bra sizes I need. At least here in the states. Well, that and I'm not super familiar with the less well known chains of stores that might sell the right sizes. Victoria's Secret is not one of them.

Anyway, I recently came upon the reddit feed A Bra That Fits. I've been on a variety websites that make it their  mission statement to educate women on correct sizing, but perhaps because I'm already familiar with the format of reddit, I really like this particular feed.

The reason I'm sharing this is because very few women I've actually talked to about bra sizes wear the correct size. My sisters and mother, to name a few, never wore the right size until I dragged my mom and one of my sisters to Nordstom and insisted they try some specific bras on. Were they both impressed with bras that actually fit and did they both walk out of the store with new bras? Yes they did. And over Christmas when I told my sister-in-law my bra size she looked at my in disbelief, because she, like the vast majority of women, didn't understand correct bra sizing.

So here's the thing. A, B, C, D - those cups sizes? Not as common as DD, F, G, H, etc. But what sizes are typically sold in stores? The first four. And lest you be thinking, "What? Not everyone is that large," yes, you're right, but that second list of cup sizes aren't necessarily "large", but rather all about proportions of band width to bust width. In other words, cup size is not static. Let me say that again - cup size is NOT static! So where you might be wearing a 38D, if that band isn't very tight, you might need a 36DD, 34F, 32G, all of which are essentially (depending on UK/US sizing) equivalent as far as the volume of the breast occupying the cup of the bra. That's right. You might be wearing a D cup but actually need a G cup. It's not like you're suddenly huge, but you were just wearing the wrong size.

Why do I care so much about this? Because I was wearing the wrong size until I was at least 21 and wearing the correct size now makes so much more comfortable in my skin.

So...ladies, measure yourselves. There's a nifty measuring guide form that site, right here (more information on fitting when you actually try a bra on here). What the worst thing that can happen - you waste a few minutes of your time? Best thing that can happen? You find out what size you're really supposed to be wearing and you get it!

Totally worth it.