Two Vallartan slideshows

Two slideshows up in this post. I hope you enjoy them.

My sister and brother-in-law departed today, headed back home to cold parts of the world (though apparently not quite cold enough for winter sports, he lamented). It was great seeing them; we attended their wedding in December 2007 (after a previous visit to Puerto Valllarta) and hadn’t seen them since. We only overlapped with them for two full days (odd that we didn’t notice that at the time of ticket purchase), but we’re thankful for the time we had and their recommendations in the whale watching adventure.

Here are just a few shots of them, with me trying to get my candid artsiness on:

And here are the shots from our whale watching adventure. There are about 30 of them…Sarah and I tried to cut it down, but although these shots are not technically perfect, we’re already reliving the thrill by viewing them. We were lucky to get not only a glimpse of a whale, but a mother-calf combo at play.

How to make the BIL squirm

Colin recently moved out and got his own apartment in another state starting a career for we which we should all be thankful. But I still couldn’t resist.

I think back fondly upon my single, bachelor, roommate-less days, but I sure don’t miss ’em. Especially not this week while Sarah’s out of town back to the U.S. for another wedding (and if we make it back for Phil and Maureen’s, that will be three returns to the U.S. in three years for three weddings) and I’m batchin’ it again. This will be the longest stretch we’ve been apart since getting married 3 years ago.

a lot can change in 20 or 30 years

My dad’s friend created a DVD full of scans of old slides for him; these are some of my favorites of the batch. Click any of these for a closer look or this link to see a slideshow on flickr.

Feast your ears and eyes on this — it’s the musical stylings of my mom’s entire family, as led by my dad on guitar and prompted by my mom with cue cards to honor my grandfather and his reputation as a clever consumer on a big round birthday:
…with many thanks to Johnny Cash.

Looks like my grandmother had a nice time in Mexico and even made a new friend. December sure sounds far away…

big margaritas / speech accent archive

big margaritas

Originally uploaded by cliff1976.

Looks like my mom’s mom was enjoying herself on her trip to Puerto Vallarta with my parents. Sarah and I are jealous that we have to wait until December for our next visit.

[linguistic dorkiness warning]
In other news: check out this link:

I’ve always maintained that my in-laws have a more southerly accent than the people I grew up with around Detroit. Compare this guy with this one. The first one is a middle-aged man from Detroit (who is also a native speaker of a large ethnic group in the Detroit area — can you hear it?), and the second one a 21-year-old man from St. Louis, MO (they don’t have a sample from Kansas City…how about it, Po & Susie?). Hear the southernness in the ‘oo’ vowels? I think it’s different, but even more southern-sounding as you head west across Missouri. Or how about this guy, from Wichita, KS? The accent my in-laws have is probably an average between the St. Louis and Wichita speakers…which makes a lot of sense, geographically.

I could spend all day on that site. I’ve pretty much got the sample text memorized already.

Got our Alps on

My dad left this morning from Munich on his way back home via Amsterdam. We had a swell time showing him around Regensburg and Munich (particularly the Deutsches Museum, where he got to see close up some aerial warfare stuff he’d never seen or heard of before) and then taking him skiing in Austria. We thought the weather would prevent any decent skiing, given the high temperatures both in the lowlands and high lands, but boy were we wrong. The pictures speak for themselves.

Below are my favorite pictures from his trip. You can click any of these for a bigger view and/or to browse around the rest of the images from this trip.



Zell am See / Kaprun

How does our boiler know…

…every time we have guests?

OK, it’s not every time, but it seems pretty frequent that our hot water (for showering, primarily, but also for doing dishes) is on the fritz when we have guests staying with us.

At least it makes for quick showers.

Dad’s here, so are some bigwigs (soon)

Picked my dad up from the airport this morning. He got in just fine, and I found him right away at the airport and we managed to be right on time for the bus to Freising to catch our train back to Regensburg.

He’s taking a short nap right now before we head out for a stroll in some glorious Spring weather. I wonder if this Spring weather is really a good thing or a bad thing though (and I’m not just talking about our ski trip to the Vital-Family-Landgasthof Stadt Wien later this week). I’m talking about “climate change” which seems to be the new euphemism for “global warming” which was perhaps the euphemism for “we’ve been shooting ourselves and everything around us in the foot.”

Petition To World Leaders: Climate change is the greatest threat facing our world today – and we are almost out of time to stop it. You must tackle this problem now, decisively and together. Start working toward a new global agreement this year. Set binding global targets for emissions to avert catastrophic climate change. Take bold action immediately – and we will join our efforts with yours.

I signed a petition today asking for the G8 participants later this week in Germany to take the actions noted above. You can do so too, just by clicking this link and filling out a very short form. It sounded like a good idea to me. We’re not asking for drastic changes to each and every consumer’s lifestyle on the planet — we’re just asking for cooperation between major economic powers to get started on making a difference.

Another trip back to Michigan is in the works

Much like last time, a wedding is bringing us back to Michigan this year. This time, it’s my sister Carolyn and brother-in-law-to-be Max!

They’re looking at mid-December, 2007. Stay tuned for an official date and some ring bling.