Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

One last stop - for shave ice - before we head to the airport. Hopefully we'll be back soon!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

On the boardwalk...

At Maui's Kealia wildlife preserve today. Waited all morning at the beach for the sun to come out, but finally gave up.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Sarah's Birthday on Lanai

For Sarah's birthday, we ferried over to Lanai and hung at the beach. See how the tropical air makes her look not a day over 36?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Here whale, whale, whale....

Looking for and finding lots of humpback whales!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The End of the Rainbow

On our way to Honolua Bay, we spotted this rainbow (the fourth one today!).

Friday, December 26, 2008

Time for a relaxer...

Post-Christmas, post-spa Kona Ale.


A cloudy day on Maui actually means "spa day" in Rushin!

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Happy Holidays from 20.74456 N, 156.45767 W. (plug that into google to see us on the map.)

We hope that everyone has a wonderful Christmas day!

Peace & Love,
Sarah & Jason

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Dinner

Our organic Mexican fiesta before we head out to the airport...on our way to Maui!


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Takin' a break from Christmas shopping

Sarah and I needed a beer, um, I mean energy to continue our power shopping.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

More Fun Food Experiments!

Is it wrong of me to ask Sarah last night, "Honey, do you mind if I get another jar of some fermenting fruit or vegetable going in the fridge?"

Well, I figured that I needed to ask her because the bottom shelf of the fridge - normally reserved for a wide selection of beer bottles - is slowly turning into my own little Science Channel. First it was the preserved lemons, which were killer, if I do say so myself. Then it was the pickled eggs and beets. Then, it was the lard (see below). And there's the occasional fermenting dough. Now, I'm on to olives.

I've wanted to try my hand at curing olives for quite some time now, and about a year or so ago I looked into it and discovered that it either required lye and a long time, or just a long time. I don't think I have a long time for anything, since my attention span is relatively short. Olives, so the recipes say, require months. I ain't got months, especially when the olive bar at Mollie Stones is only $5.99/lb.

Anyway, I saw some fresh olives at the farmer's market a few months ago and decided to give it a try. As you can see in the photo (taken one week into the experiment), I decided to try two different methods: the brine method and the water method. Both methods require you to individually "crack" each olive as the first step. Sarah laughed a lot while I was doing that...

I started these bottles on October 18, 2008. Remember that date...

For the brine method (Jar A, on the left), you soak the raw olives in a salt water mixture that has to be changed every week for two weeks, and then every month for "two or more months" (more on that last bit later...). You can see that the olives are very bright and green.

For the water method (Jar B, on the right), you soak the olives in plain tap water (maybe I should have used filtered, non-chlorinated, non-fluoride water?). The kicker here is that the water must be changed EVERY DAY for a month or more, "or bacteria may build up!" That's nice. I'm sure that just
guaranteed that Sarah will be eating none of the B olives. And, of course, I've forgotten several days already so if they suck, that (and the fluoride thing) is my excuse.

Jar B olives quickly turned a splotchy brown, and now a few weeks after the photo above they are all solidly brownish while Jar A olives are still a vibrant green. I'm thinking of brining myself to see if I stay vibrant as well.

I've read/heard that raw olives are extremely bitter. I should have tried one to taste for myself, but I forgot. However, I'm now thinking that that may have been a critical error because now I won't be able to determine how much "better" they get over time. Ahhh, time. I remember some good quotes about time: "Ticking away, the moments that make up a dull day," from Pink Floyd. "That's all it takes really, pressure, and time. Like I said, in prison a man will do anything to keep his mind occupied," from Shawshank Redemption. I guess those two sum up my food experiments - most food is dull and I'm in a metaphorical prison of blandness.

Anyway, I was talking about time. It takes about 13 minutes - round trip - to go to the grocery store, load up on really good olives, and get back home. Maybe 18 minutes if there is traffic. And what does that cost? Maybe $6 for the olives and a buck for gas. But let's not focus on the cost, because anything worth tasting is worth paying for, or something like that. Let's focus on time.

As I mentioned, this all began on October 18, 2008. Jar A requires 2-1/2 to 3 months, minimum. Jar B requires at least one month plus...who knows how long because the recipe is open ended, and not in a good way. As I mentioned my lack of tasting the raw olives as a critical error, that comes into play here. Why? Because here is how you know when the olives are "done:"
  • Jar A: "You can now eat these olives if you like fairly-bitter olives."
  • Jar B: "Just keep waiting until the olives don't taste bitter any longer."
Sometimes, even I laugh at my misguided attempts to mimic some food item that is so readily available, so inexpensive, and already so good as-is. However, I guess I do get a little satisfaction out of saying, "I made this." Or, "I made this...and it sucks and I wasted hours and hours and burned my hand and cut my finger and am now so disappointed that my whole dinner/evening is ruined." Yeah, I'm a pleasure to be around.

Anyway, as you have probably already done the math in your head, October 18 + 2-1/2 months is roughl
y New Year's Day...2009. Add on a few more weeks for bitterness abatement, and we're getting mighty close to not having any snacks at the Super Bowl Party!

Stay tuned...I'll keep you posted.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot: the lard. Lard is good food. I recently read an article on lard and how it's not really that bad for you and how it gets a bad rap, so I decided to give it a go. Plus, when Sarah treated me to a pie and tart baking class a few years ago, everyone said how lard makes such a better pie crust.

So, since it was pumpkin season, I decided to make a pumpkin pie with real pumpkin and a lard-filled crust. Doesn't it look yummy?

If I do say so myself, the crust ROCKED! It had a fl
avor that held it's own and was extremely flaky - as a good pie crust should be.

As for the pie, well, let's just say that the pumpkin sat in our kitchen for about three weeks before the pie was made, and that I forgot to put sugar into the pie, so it was a bit "rustic," or "savory" as Sarah put it. I guess that's why I ate one piece, the pie eventually got moldy, and I threw the whole thing away.

And as I was throwing the moldy, stinky, four-hours-to-prepare pie in the garbage can, all I muttered was, "I made this...and it sucks and I wasted hours and hours and burned my hand and cut my finger and am now so disappointed that my whole dinner/evening is ruined."

I love to cook!
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Friday, October 17, 2008

While Sarah was having mimosas with the girls...

I had to make myself scarce the other weekend while Sarah did something as if her and her friend's names were Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda. So, I grabbed my kayak, my fly rod, and my manly 4x4 and headed into the Sierras to camp, fish, and see if I could find a situation where I was actually forced by loss-of-traction to put our Pathfinder into 4x4 mode (as opposed to "just locking it in because we paid for it and I know that this dirt patch on the side of the road doesn't really require four-wheel drive, but I want to try it out so bad that I need any excuse to crank that knob and feel like a man").

I wound my way up to Lindsey Lake (see map below), found a nice camping spot right on the shoreline, and whipped out the fly rod. Two native trout later, and I hit the sack for a restful night of peace and quiet.

View Larger Map

The next morning, I was out on the lake for a crack-of-dawn kayak, and another fish or two on the fly rod. Then, off to check out the back roads and forest trails of Tahoe National Forest. And that's where the beautiful day turned a bit dreary...

As I drove along the dirt roads, I heard a hiss and lo and behold, got a flat tire.


Oh well, what's a better way to feel manly? That's right: working on the ol' automobile! Getting some grease under my fingernails!

Or, in this case, getting dust and dirt under my fingernails, because there hadn't been any rain in something like 200 days.

Anyway, I dropped the spare, jacked the truck, and in less than 45 minutes, I was back on the road with only a mismatched rim to show for it.

Here are a few more photos, including some of Malakoff Diggins State Park, where the gold rush dudes used huge water hoses to blast away the mountains looking for gold. I don't think the EPA would approve of that these days.

Finally - a weekend away from metrosexual SF and up into the mountains to reclaim some of my Western PA man cred.

Mission accomplished!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Whales in Pacifica!

Very rarely have I found exercise as rewarding as I did tonight. No, I haven't lost inches or pounds. Instead, I was completely entertained and distracted during my workout (yippeee!). As I was stretching at the foot of the Pacifica pier, I was staring out at the ocean noticing the volume of water at high tide, the choppy waves and the seemingly-oversized sun. Then, I saw a large puff of water really close to shore. I thought I was seeing things and just chalked it up to seaspray and my poor vision. But then it happened again and suddenly I got a peek of the back of a whale.

I ended up running along the beach and climbing up Mori Point for a better view as the whales traveled south. As I walked back North to the pier, the whales must've made a U-turn because all of a sudden there they were again, this time treating their audience to fins raised up in the air, breaches, and tail slaps. My 30 minute run turned into a 1.5 hour whale-watching excursion. The entire time I kept thinking to myself (and even said to several people I ended up talking to along the pier): Jason is NEVER going to believe me. In three years living in Pacifica we've seen dolphin once or twice and that's about it. We have the worst luck! And the one night I go running without him, this happens. His reaction to my story? "I don't believe you! You are totally making this up!"

Amidst all my excitement I couldn't help but think about the stories I've been reading lately about all the plastic floating around in our Oceans and how it ends up in the stomachs of sea life (and eventually back into our food supply). I found reading this paper very helpful in understanding what is going on and why it's such an issue. Hope you find it interesting, too.

Now, back to my Flickr search for whales at the Pacifica pier since of course I didn't have a camera with me for my Monday night run!

Monday, August 04, 2008


When people talk about new things happening in their life, lots of familiar sayings tend to pop into your head (i.e., "change is good," "maybe a change of scenery will do the trick," "people are afraid of change," etc.) In my world, change is a pretty common thing - in fact, anything routine is more of an oddity. My world is in constant motion. It's just the way I live - I've become accustomed to it, and I kind of like it that way!

So over the last eight years while I was working with/for HP, I had so many jobs within that company that I can barely remember them all. It's a big place filled with really fantastic people and between the constant opportunities to change my "beat" and the relationships I had built with so many of my co-workers, there was no real reason to leave. Until about a month ago. It's like a lot of stories you hear ... "I wasn't looking, they found me!" ... and long story short, I accepted a position on the communications team at Omidyar Network. You can read all about the organization on the web, but the short story is that this place is doing some really good things in the world, and I get to be a part of it. It was an opportunity that just felt so right I couldn't ignore it. So there you go - a big change for me personally and professionally and so far, so good.

Part of the benefit of getting this new job is that our guest room no longer has to serve as my office! Instead of working in my PJ's all day, I'm now commuting down to Redwood City (a big shock to the budget given the state of gas prices these days!). So while Jason will tell you that he's sick of me "re-doing" everything in that room, the truth is that it was never "done" in the first place. It was the leftover room - all the boxes from our last move that we didn't know what to do with (or ever bothered to unpack after three years) had been shoved in the closet and the place had just become a dumping ground.

So with a little paint, Jason's handy electrical skills, a lot of late-night online shopping, and a talented seamtress that I found on craigslist, we now have a new and improved guest room. My inspiration started with a black and white Ansel Adams print of a New Mexico graveyard at night (the first gift Jason ever gave me) ... and extended all the way through some art deco influences and finally ended with the shell prints that I made using oyster shells from Bora Bora.

I'm now starting to "re-do" the master bedroom but here again... it was never really done in the first place. More on that in a few months when we get all of that figured out. Part of our problem is that we're both incredibly picky (stop laughing Mom, I can hear you despite the 3,000 miles between us). More often than I'd like (and in order to get what we really, very specifically want) I usually just end up figuring it out on my own. Anyone ever made their own headboard? If so, drop me a line!

The other big improvement in our house is our new fireplace... through my near-obsession with Domino magazine, I found a great place in Sausalito that makes their own incredibly gorgeous tile. Luckily, they have a "secret backroom" where this (did I mention completely out of our price range) same tile sells at a huge discount. After two visits and sifting through more dirty boxes than a person with allergies should be legally allowed to handle, we emerged victorious. We put together a pattern and Jason tiled the whole thing by himself. Now, I know it sounds like "voila! we have a new fireplace" but trust me it didn't go that quickly! It did turn out really, really well and considering Jason's never done any tiling before, I'm pretty amazed with the results.

Other than that, we're waiting on some wall art from Blik for our downstairs bathroom, which has experienced a few small changes too. Honestly, no room is safe in this house! After three years, you just need to shake things up a bit... which Jason just calls "changing her mind a lot."

Anyway, I hope that next time you visit our house you agree that change is good! :-)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Kewl tech, or just a highlight of my poor stock picking?

I'm always on the lookout for some cool new technology, usefulness be damned! So, when I read about wikinvest, I just had to try it out. Wikinvest is a wiki for investing (clever name...), and they also offer embeddable, interactive stock charts. But, which stock should I choose?

Well, I could choose something interesting and topical, like Starbucks or Google or Apple, or I could choose one of my recent stock picks. Well, given my stock-picking prowess these past few months, this isn't a shining example of my intelligence. But, remember, this is for testing the wikinvest chart! This is not to spark commentary from anyone, especially Sarah, on my investment choices.

Every stock has a bad day or two...or three...or 207....

Go ahead and play around with the chart. Oh, and do you see that little spike around the beginning of June? Yeah, of course that's when I bought $54...

Move your mouse along the line and see the daily prices. Change the time scale. Or, click on the little letters, which correspond to news. And, since it's a cool wiki, you can even add your own news. Click on the "B" at the beginning of June and see what it says!

Please, keep your comments to yourself! ;-)

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Sarah and I were in New York City in June for our First Anniversary trip. (I'm calling it our "First Anniversary trip" because we hope to take a trip every anniversary! I tried to tie it to the accepted anniversary year gift, with first being paper and us taking a trip to a local paper mill, but that received a less-than-enthusiastic response from the trip committee...)

Anyway, it was like a million degrees outside that weekend, so we decided to seek out some air conditioning. We headed to The Met so that we could check out the new exhibit on superheroes, but then also took a lap around the rest of the joint. (Oh, and by "lap," I really mean that we trudged around in confusing circles, map in hand, with absolutely no idea of how the sucky map correlated to the actual building in which we were walking. If we would have been told afterward that the map we were given was actually a map for the corn maze at Half Moon Bay, I would have believed it!)

While in one of many confusing corridors, we stumbled upon one of the best examples of post-modern art that we've seen in quite a while. Or, post-modern lunch, I should say. This guy, Jasper Johns, obviously had nothing better to do in the year of my birth than create a realistic rendering of a slice of white bread from sheet-lead relief and embossed rag paper (whatever that is). Now, I'm sure that this piece voices some commentary on the artist's upbringing during the depression, when food was scarce, juxtaposed against the late-sixties modernization of the nuclear family's standardized diet, mixed in with a statement on the homogenization of American culture and the blandness of simple white bread.

But I digress. What I see is a perfectly rendered slice of white bread. If only the exhibit next to it was focused on peanut butter and jelly... Now there's art!

Oh, and just as a disclaimer, I "purchased" these photos from the gift shop. I did not ignore the constant "no pictures please" chants from the security guards and sneak this photo on my phone while pretending to be making a call. No I did not.

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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Blogging for blogging's sake...

Yeesh, we haven't had a blog posting in quite a while. That's so lame.

Maybe I should write something.


Maybe I should post a new photo?

Sarah at NYC's giant erector set skyscraper!

How about integrate the latest YouTube video that I like?

Stay thirsty my friends!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A short trip to... Belize!

Sarah's friends Amy and Alan, who are now my friends, since CA law states that 50% of everything Sarah has is mine, or does that mean just one of them is my friend...? Which one would I choose? Wait a minute... What was I talking about? Oh yeah, BELIZE!

Amy and Alan own a beach bungalow in Belize, which is called the Barefoot Beach Bungalow. So, it's the Belizian Barefoot Beach Bungalow, on the beach, in Belize, below the trees, in the breeze... Ugh. Too many b's. Yeesh, I've had too much diet Sunkist today.

Sarah thinks that I have ADHD. What do you think? Should I wear black socks today or gray? I wonder how many nails are in that fence out there.

OK - what was I talking about? Oh yeah, BELIZE!

A few weeks ago, when we hung with Amy and Alan in Paso Robles, Alan mentioned that he was heading to Belize to do some maintenance on their beach house. Sarah's been there once, and she always talks about how nice it is. Amy and Alan talk about it a lot, too. But, poor little old me ain't never been there. Nope. Never an invitation. Never even a postcard. Hmph! So, what did I do? I invited myself along with Alan!

Oh what fun! Two manly-men tearing termite-infested wood off of his bungalow in 100-degree heat and the accompanying tropical humidity, dodging tarantulas and herds of iguanas, and hauling in barracuda for lunch! Nothing like an adventure vacation!

Alan tells me that the food there is fantastic. And, on our first night, I have to admit that the dinner of conch, lobster, snapper and stew was absolutely fantastic! But, on day two, I came down with the flu and had barely more than one fig newton over the remaining 3+ days of the trip. It's like the time we went to Mexico and I got sick. Or the time we went to Paris and I got sick. Or the time... I get sick a lot.

In any case, I didn't let it ruin my trip. I just sat in the chair, stared out at the Caribbean Sea, and couldn't imagine being in a more beautiful place while having stomach cramps.

Check out the slideshow below, or see the photos here.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Hanging Out

Originally uploaded by Sarah&Jason
It's been a while since we posted anything so just a word to anyone who might check our blog once in a while - we're still here! It's just been a crazy and hectic couple of months for us .... work, travel, play - you name it, we've been doing it.

Oh, and now that the writers are all back at their desks (thank you!), of course we've been catching up on all of our shows in our spare time, too. Lost, Battlestar, The Office, etc. So much good TV and so little time to watch it!

I'll post some pictures soon - we have a lot to report from a variety of trips so I promise to get some photos up soon! The picture in this post is of course A&A's little wild child... determined to get back into the car on a recent trip to Morro Bay.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

I Love La La Land

In the old days, like two years ago, I wasn't a big fan of Los Angeles. To me, it was all sprawl, fake, and smoggy. The times I spent there on business reinforced that view.

But then, Sarah and I spent the first night of our honeymoon last June in West Hollywood, and my opinion changed. It wasn't that bad, I thought. In fact, I kind of liked it! (Maybe staying at the swank Sunset Marquis had something to do with that...)

Ever since then, we've talked about going back, but it wasn't really a top priority. Then, a few months ago, Sarah added the first few seasons of Entourage to our Netflix queue - and now I'm hooked on Los Angeles! If you've never watched Entourage, it's an HBO series about a young movie star who lives with his three sidekicks/freeloaders. It's way funny (although the first season starts off a bit slow).

Anyway, I'm off track here...

Watching Entourage, I've been like a six-year-old girl watching Hannah Montana, wondering what Vince and the guys are wearing, where they're eating (check out the "location credits" to see where we had breakfast one morning), where they're walking, where they're shopping... NO, I CAN'T BELIEVE IT EITHER! I even just bought a belt because it was like the one that one of the dudes wore on the show! It's starting to get disturbing. (I need to get back to Pennsylvania for a personality reset.)

Yeesh. Where was I? Oh yeah, Los Angeles...

So, with all of the LA hype going on in our house the past few months, Sarah had the wonderful idea of setting up a surprise long-weekend trip to stay at a nice hotel, eat killer food, do some celebrity-hunting, and see the FOO FIGHTERS in concert! Wow, I love her! I've been wanting to see the Foos since way, way back. I was giddy like, um, well, like a six-year-old girl getting tickets to a Hannah Montana concert. And, to make me love her even more, Sarah booked our flights on Virgin America for something like $40 each way! And, she even told me how she booked the earlier flight home just to save like $12! If that's not something to love, then I don't know what love is!

Our trip started Thursday morning, with the concert being later that night. We hit the hotel, changed into our LA Clubbing/Concert attire, and hit the town. First stop - Citrus at Social for some awesome cocktails (and Sarah's pic of their bathroom). Second stop - FOO FIGHTERS! Check out our photos here, or a Foo video to get some sense of their energy:

The concert was awesome! They killed! (Although, we could have done without the guest appearance by Lemmy, the 62-year-old singer from Motorhead, wearing jeans so freakin' tight you could tell his religion.)

The rest of the weekend was a blur of food and shopping - and some stars! I have to admit, our first star sighting was actually in the San Fran airport before we even left, where we saw Victor Garber (the father from Alias). Our next sighting was of Annie Leibovitz, the photographer, who we saw as we left Fred Segal. Another was Winona Ryder, who is actually very cute in person. The lame-o star sighting had to be Latoya Jackson shopping at the Guess store.

As for food, well, I hate to say it, but nothing compares to San Fran when it comes to food. But, the culinary highlight was our trip to Wolfgang Puck's new steak house, Cut. Sarah (who is nearly a vegetarian) had the wagyu filet and I had the wagyu ribeye. Both were amazing, although now we're spoiled on wagyu and I have no idea how we're going to find it and, more importantly, how we're going to afford it!

After this trip, I'm definitely an LA junkie. I still love San Fran and Northern Cal, but as long as we can fly roundtrip for less than the cost of gas to drive, I can't wait until our next trip!

In fact, I'd better go out right now and grab the latest People and Us Weekly, just so I know where we should eat! ;-)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Surprises Don’t Have to Be Bad

Ask most people and I think they would tell you that I have a mostly-positive outlook on life. Despite that sense of optimism, I’m beginning to realize that my work life has trained me to have a really negative view of surprises – whether at work or at home. I’m sure my need to plan, organize and control most things in my life also has a hand in this as well, but that’s definitely another post!

Over the years, when I have been handed a “surprise” it typically means I drop everything else I’m doing in my life and focus on a really nasty issue at work for several days and nights until the storm has ended. These things of course happen at really bad times – over a major holiday, immediately prior to leaving for a friend’s wedding or family vacation, etc.

In the “home” category, here’s a recent example of a little surprise. Jason and I went snorkeling in Hawaii and saw 5-6 sea turtles in a small bay on the Big Island. It was sea turtle nirvana for me. What I was quite surprised to learn the next morning was the very same little bay was closed right after we left because a 10-foot tiger shark had been spotted prowling around. I think that definitely would have been classified as a (bad) surprise had we met face:face with that shark!

So this past weekend, imagine my shock when I walked into a room of people who all yelled “Sur-prise!” at me around 9pm on a random Saturday night in SF. I have to say it took me several moments to figure out what the heck was going on: Jason had organized a belated birthday party for me. Two days later I’m still a little bit in shock at the whole thing but now I’m trying to figure out what surprised me more – the party itself or the fact that I enjoyed the element of surprise so much!

I guess this experience is changing my view of the world of surprises because now I’m thinking of all of the other unexpected things that have happened recently that are really great. Like the fact that my friend Amy flew up for 24 hours just to make the party. Or that I learned my friend Joanna’s S.O. use to be a DJ and loves to go dancing (who would have ever guessed that James was such a dancing queen?!). Or that my Dad is becoming a spontaneous traveler (much to the delight of my mother).

So I guess surprises can be a really good thing – it’s all in how you look at it. I hope I have many more in 2008. Happy New Year!