27 August 2010

Sunrise & Five Things ...

- Up to watch the sunrise yesterday morning   -


FIVE THINGS:

5 Things I want to learn:
  1. To draw  Botanical Illustrations like Franz Bauer
  2. To take Photo's like Ansel
  3. To have a Garden again - I miss my Zen!
  4. To cook like a Top Chef
  5. To become gifted in the Art of Small Talk
5 Things I did recently:
  1. Became a member of the Japanese Friendship Garden at Balboa Park
  2. Chatted with one of my oldest and dearest friends, Dana - Love ya! 
  3. Started reading Claudia's book. 
  4. Discovered a great new blog - 'Catalog Living' (Click to check it out - very funny)
  5. Packed up most of our apartment so we could move this weekend.
5 Things I have a problem with lately:
  1. The problem I have with most technology is that you usually have to know a certain level of math and/or science to setup, operate or repair it.  (Which is fine but what about the other 99 % of us - huh)
  2. The problem I have with living in a year round sunny, warm climate is that you have to shave your legs all the time -  not just for a few months in the summer ...
  3. The problem I have with giving up a land-line and primarily using a cell phone is that I keep forgetting to make sure it's on ring & not vibrate so I can hear it.
  4. The problem I have with living in this apartment is that I have to park 4 stories underground and live 6 stories off the ground.  (unnerving in earthquake country)
  5. The problem I have with relocating is having to make all new friends (something I am not good at)
5 Things I am hoping  for:
  1. A quick & painless house sale
  2. A successful home purchase
  3. A job - any job.  Will work for __________! (you fill in the blank)
  4. A trip to Napa Valley with Mike in October
  5. A new Kitty cat (when I get a house)
5 Things I am Wishing for: 
  1. That Aidan loves grade 2!
  2. That  Dad has no more problems with his hip or scooter.
  3. That I get to go  see either "The Last Exorcism' or  the "Takers" tonight.
  4. That we go eat Sushi this weekend.
  5. That I am reunited with my Tivo soon.
5 Things I am praying for:
  1. That Dana gets the job she recently interviewed for, really wants and is so ready for!
  2. That the miner's trapped in Chile  are able to stay safe & sane until they can rescue them!  (33 men trapped in a 600 sq. ft. room - 1/2 mile underground for 4 months ...)
  3. That Ron & Yuping have a safe & wonderful trip to China.
  4.  That I win the $133 million dollar lottery this weekend (LOL - I'll share)
  5. That every one I love has green grass to play on, sunny skies to play under and a warm bed to sleep in.
 -Happy Weekend Everyone  -


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26 August 2010

Fingers & Toes ....


Remember this guy.

No, well I sure do.

Last May he drove up to the front of our house,  loaded up all our stuff, the garage,  backyard and car - then drove away without so much as a wink, a honk or nod.

Don't get me wrong - I was excited but  still, I crossed my fingers & toes, praying that our stuff would arrive in San Diego without injury.  

Little did we know we might never  that truck or our stuff  again.

I heard on the news this morning that Home Sales in the U.S. were down, way down  in July and that home prices haven't been this low in many areas since the 60's.


I have been  keeping my fingers & toes crossed and praying that things will start to look better soon.

Real soon. 

And then  day before yesterday  ...

We finally got an offer on our house. 

It was countered, accepted, and now if all goes well we will close on September 17th (Cathy's Birthday).

Yea, after 3 months on the market, 3 price reductions and 3 (okay, maybe there were about 30) little bitty nervous breakdowns (some of them may have been more seismic than itty-bitty  in scope but I'm not naming names or pointing fingers) - we finally got an offer!!!

Hallelujah!

But still, I'm keeping my fingers & toes crossed and praying that the house will close without a hitch.


Now, Mr. Burr would argue that we picked the exact wrong time in history to sell our house and relocate.  

Maybe that's  true if the only reason we did this was to sell our house but it wasn't and so regardless of what he says, I say - we picked the exact right time in the history of us to do it!

Sometimes in life you just have to cross your fingers & toes and pray & hope for the best.

Yah, I can, 'C'est la vie' with the best of em' ...


 

After the sale closes I will still be keeping my fingers & toes crossed and praying that we will see a lot of these signs in our near future.

I think they could be a good omen of great things to come for us here in SD.

I just hope my toes don't start to cramp before the whole thing is over ...


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25 August 2010

2 months & Counting ...

Soda-less in San Diego


It's been 2 months since I gave up drinking any kind of soda,  diet or otherwise.

The most significant outcome from this change has been that since I gave up soda I have been drinking a lot more water everyday.

And, I feel good about that.



Although ... I must confess.

I still drink the odd carbonated beverage.

Tonic water .    

But, I don't think of it as drinking soda because I dilute it heavily ...

with Tanqueray.

 - Cheers -


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24 August 2010

Dr. Katy ...

Katy's 1st White 'Doctor' Coat

WSVMA 
- Washington State Veterinary Medical Association -



Good Luck  soon to be - Dr. K. Burr, D.V.M.


  "A Dog is the only thing on earth that will love you more than himself."
- Josh Billings -

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23 August 2010

Happy Anniversary ...



Happy 13th Anniversary
Sarah & Todd


And Congratulations Boulanger Clan on the newest member of the family
RICO


What a Cutie!!!

PS:  Good luck with the House-training.  Oh, he's too cute to stay mad at   :-)

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21 August 2010

Feeling homesick ...

Not much to say today.


Feeling sorta blue. - just a  little down I guess.

I am slowly  packing the few things we have at the apartment getting ready to move into the new one.

I am feeling content with life but a little out of sorts.

I thought I'd share one of my favorite songs ever  because, for some reason,  it always manages to turn my melancholy  into nostalgia
 



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20 August 2010

White Coats ...

- Happy White Coat Day Katy -


WHITE COAT PLEDGE:

I solemnly pledge: 
  • To consecrate my life to the service of both animals and humanity;
  • To give my teachers, staff and classmates the respect that is their due;
  • To conduct myself at all times with conscience and dignity;
  • To always provide comfort and compassion to teaching and client animals left in my care;
  • To maintain the honor and noble traditions of the veterinary medical profession;
  • To avoid considerations of religion, nationality, race, politics or social standing to influence my relationships with teachers, staff, classmates, or clients;
  • To never use my veterinary knowledge contrary to the laws of humanity;
  • I make these promises sincerely, freely and upon my honor.



I hope that you know how much your Dad & I wish we could be there with you for your White Coat Ceremony.

Love you 


 
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19 August 2010

August 2010

Uncle Frank sent out an email this morning that shared this information which I thought was very interesting so I'm passing it on ...



An interesting fact about August 2010 :  

This August has 5 Sundays, 5 Mondays and 5 Tuesdays!!  

It will be another 823 years until this happens again ..


Thanks for sharing Uncle Frank.

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14 August 2010

Happy Birthday Hannah ...

- Happy Birthday Hannah -




Hope lovely surprises are coming your way
To make your Birthday a wonderful day 
Smiles and laughter, joy and cheer
New happiness that stays throughout the year

Hope your birthday brings all these and more
Filling life with surprise and joys galore! 
So on this very special day
I would like to say to you
I hope you'll always find happiness
In whatever you may do.

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13 August 2010

Polar Bears ....

It's Hot out today!

Fry an egg on the sidewalk hot ...

I'm dreaming about cool icy dips in the sea ...


Where ever you be - stay cool ...

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11 August 2010

San Diego Zoo ...

Katy & I spent about 4.5 hours yesterday wandering around the San Diego Zoo.

It was such a beautiful sunny day and the zoo was just about the most  perfect place to spend it.


The San Diego Zoo sits on 107 acre and is located in Balboa Park and  is considered one of the largest & most progressive zoos in the world with over 800 different species and  4000 animals.

It  is also one of only a handful of  zoos in the world that has every major exhibit, expect the reptile house,  as an open -air exhibit due to it's cool sunny climate.

- The Monkey Trail -

The San Diego Zoo also operates the San Diego Zoo Safari Park which is an 1800 acre park and houses over 3000 of the zoo animals.  The animals are rotated between the zoo & park so they can spent time in the larger enclosures.

FYI: The SD Safari Park is home to the largest veterinary hospital in the world.

- Gibbons -

"Animals are regularly exchanged not only between the two locations but also between San Diego Zoo and other zoos around the world, usually in accordance with Species Survival Plan recommendations." (wiki)


- Flamingos -

"Next door to the hospital is the Institute for Conservation Research which holds the park's Frozen Zoo ( It employs numerous professional geneticists, cytologists and veterinarians and maintains a cryopreservation facility for rare sperm and eggs )."  (wiki)

- Meerkats -

"The San Diego Zoo also has an amazing collection of rare & exotic plants and it also raises over 40 varieties of bamboo to feed the Giant Panda bears as well as 18 different types of eucalyptus trees to feed the Koalas."  (wiki)

- Bamboo Graffiti -

The San Diego Zoo is one of only four  zoos in the US to be lucky enough to have Giant Panda's on display.

The Memphis Zoo, Atlanta Zoo and National Zoo in Washington, D.C also have Panda bears.

The San Diego Zoo has been involved in Panda Conservation & research for over 14 years now and  has seen more live births than any other zoo with five Giant Panda cubs.

- Su Lin -

 All Giant Pandas in the world belong to the People's Republic of China and are loaned out to zoos around the world as part of ongoing conservation efforts.

A panda is usually loaned out for a ten-year loan period with the provision that all cubs born belong to China and must be returned  shortly after the cubs reach the age of three.

Each  zoo  pays China a loan fee of million dollars ($1,000,000) per year and an additional one-time fee of $600,000 per cub born.

Panda are rare and very expensive  - in addition to the loan fees the maintenance, food & care of each panda's yearly upkeep is approximately 5 times as expensive as that of the next most expensive zoo animal - the elephant.

- Yun Li -
"The Giant Panda is a conservation reliant endangered species. A 2007 report shows 239 Giant Pandas living in captivity inside China and another 27 outside the country.
Wild population estimates vary; one estimate shows that there are about 1,590 individuals living in the wild, while a 2006 study via DNA analysis estimated that this figure could be as high as 2,000 to 3,000."    (Wiki)
- Zhen Zhen -

Monday, August 15th,  is the last day that Su Lin & Zhen Zhen will be on display at the San Diego Zoo.

They are now both over three years old and are scheduled to be returned to China at the end of the summer.

"We will miss Su Lin and Zhen Zhen, but as a conservation organization we are aware of the significant breeding contributions they will make in the preservation of this critically endangered species at another panda conservation center such as Bi Feng Zia," said Carmi Penny, co-head of the San Diego Zoo's Giant Panda Conservation unit."

This was the first time either of us had ever seen a panda and it is easy to see why they are one of the most adored & beloved animals on earth.  

- Zhen Zhen -

This was also the first time I had ever seen a Koala bear.

Adorable!

They were all sound asleep except one who was half awake but keep nodding off as we watched him.

Apparently koala's sleep about 22 hours a day.

They are just as cute in person as they are in pictures!

- Nap time-

Here is a look of some other sights we saw at the zoo....

- Smile -

***************************

Lions and tigers and bears, Oh my!
- Life is more fun at the zoo -

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10 August 2010

Katy ...

Katy flew in from Portland on Sunday morning for a short 3 day visit before heading back to Washington to start school for the year.

We picked her up at the airport around 11:30am and we were all starving so we decided to head over to the Dirty Bird for wings & a beer.

- Mike & Katy enjoying libations at the Dirty Bird -

After lunch we wandered around the pier for a while to take in the sand, surf & sun and then headed back over to the apartment.

Katy was tired because she had gotten up at 5:30am so that Cory could drop her off at the airport early because he & his Mom were riding in the 'Portland Beat the Bridge' bike race later that morning.

We hung around the apartment chatting for a while and then Katy & I went for a walk over to the mall beside our apartment for a Starbucks and to look around for a while.  
 
The next morning (Monday) Mike went off the work and Katy and I headed over to the Birch Aquarium at Scripps. 

- Birch Museum at Scripps Institute of Oceanography (UCSD) -

Mike's work offers discounted tickets to most anywhere you would ever want to go to in San Diego so off we went armed with our cheap tickets, camera and sunglasses. 

It was another beautiful sunny day and it felt good to just be outside.

- Katy & I -

I have been to a few aquariums in my life: Vancouver, Seattle, Baltimore and now San Diego's and I must say that HANDS DOWN Vancouver, B.C.'s aquarium is by far the BEST.

None of the others even come close to the Vancouver Aquarium but they are all nice in there own way.

To be fair, I think that Seattle & San Diego have far superior Zoo's while Vancouver has  focused more on their aquarium. 

- Jellyfish - 
~ I think this looks like an alien planet in the night sky ~

The Birch Aquarium is different than Vancouver's in that it is primarily a research institution for the University of California, San Diego and so while it is a huge facility the actual public aquarium is quite small.  


It is also a center for public education and has many classrooms and offers a lot of classes for school age children.

They had some very interesting interactive 'Climate Change' exhibits, tidal pools and coral reef exhibit.

- Sea Horse -

The aquarium has a wonderful collection of seahorses from around the world including a seahorse 'nursery' where they breed them.


After Katy and I finished at the aquarium (which is about 5 minutes from where I live) we headed back over to the apartment because Mike & I were heading over the DMV to register our cars and take our Driver's License test.

One of Katy's college roommates just happens to be from Escondido which is about 20 minutes from us and so she came over to pick-up Katy and they went off to explore 'Old Town' San Diego for the afternoon and visit.

Katy's friend, Nicole, is leaving on Wednesday to attend graduate school in Ohio so they will probably not see each other again for a very long time and so it was nice they had this last chance to see each other.


The DMV was - while anyone who drives is familiar with what the DMV knows that involves  - long, long slow moving lines, uncomfortable chairs, screaming kids and a numbering system for service that would leave Einstein confused.  
All the numbers began with a letter and the letters went from A all the way up to H - YIKES.

The poor guy sitting beside  Mike told us he had H047 and he was concerned because he had been waiting over 40 minutes and said that he hadn't heard them call a single number that started with H.  

- Tide Pools at Aquarium -

Last I saw of the guy he had managed to corner a manager and was trying to get an ETA for when he could get his paperwork taken care of.    

Not sure what ever happened to him ...

Oh, and this DMV office was a relic from the past.  It was completely UN.AUTOMATED and what little automation they did have was broken.

Stepping inside those doors was like stepping into a time machine and going back in time about 40 years.


For example, Mike driver's test was on a photocopied piece paper which someone marked by hand complete with check marks for the ones he got right.

I think I've taken my tests on a computer since about 1995 in Washington.




Needless to say I did not have a pleasant experience at the DMV.

I'm sorry but why do I always get the defective one ...  think  'Patti'  of  'Patti & Selma' from the Simpson's - well that was the  DMV employee I got .... 

She told me I would have to go to the Optometrist and get glasses and then come back ...

I told her that I'd been to many optometrists before and glasses would not correct my vision.

She just sneered at me and said ... 'well you still have to go him and get this paper completed' 



So now I have 10 days to go to an Optometrist and have him sign a paper that says even though  I can't pass their vision test ... I can see good enough to drive.

Then it's back to the DMV where they will, hopefully,  agree to let me take both the written test and the ROAD test (eek - parallel parking) so they can verify that I can indeed see the other cars on the road. 

So my DMV saga is To be continued ...

Katy and I are off to Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo today to see the Panda Bears.

I wish everyone a sunny day & disposition to match


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