Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Nice day...

In the morning, the kids and I went to the Volvo dealership for my regular service. I've gone many times before and it always took a month to make the appointment and then they would say it'll be 90 minutes, and it would take 4 hours. Anyways, they have improved their service so that now it takes only a few days to get an appointment and by golly, they finished it in 90 minutes! I was quite pleased and the kids liked playing in the toy room and there was also free cookies. No wonder I'm paying so much for an oil change and tire balancing.

In the afternoon, we went swimming at the gym. It was a lot of fun and I was really worried about having 2 kids and just me, but it turned out OK. Vince and Edda both wore an Aquajogger belt and I held Edda in my arms and Vince, with his Aquajogger and a kickboard was basically able to swim the length of the pool. Pretty nifty. I would have taken pictures of the adventures, but then I would have needed a clone. Oh well, that will happen soon enough.


Vince at the Volvo dealer.

Edda at the Volvo dealer.

Cool slides through a wall of water. Unfortunately this apartment is not so close to the subway, because otherwise it is fantastic. It even has it's own bomb shelter. Posted by Hello

More househunting in Singapore

Today was a very quiet day at work. I rode a bike at the gym at the hotel for a bit before heading taking a taxi to work. I had a nice chat with the cab driver. Because he likes me, he recommended a place to buy electronics at the end of the ride. Mre eveidence that shopping is the chief activity in Singapore. Everyone from AMD was out of the office, today, so I had visitor suite 1 all to myself. I got some work done, had lunch with the TD Litho manager, and left at 3 to go househunting. I looked at 5 places. Three were very flashy new high rise condos, with polished marble floors, shiny new kitchens, underground parking, views, gyms, multiple pools with waterfalls and stuff like that. Two others were older multi story places with the typical tile floors, porches and bigger rooms. Probably subway and shopping access is the most important criteria. Based on that, one of the shiny new places wins. It is less than 10 minutes walk from the subway, and during that 10 minutes you pass several markets, many restaraunts, a mall, a bus depot, the local community center and etc. While it does not have its own yard (which the older places both do) it does have a grass perimeter around the complex which is right outside the front door of the building. I know all this because I went and walked around the neighborhood after the apartment viewing was over. By the end I was soaked with sweat, but everyone around me seemed OK.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Update,...

A few things:

My friend, Gargi, from grad school just had her 2nd child, Arnuv, this weekend. She lives in Philly and works for Merck.

Lana, my friend from high school, fell into a river this weekend on a canoing trip and soaked her cell phone and lost all her phone numbers.

Ben thinks that his visa to Sweden will be granted in a few weeks so after the France trip, he should be able to move to be with Johanna.

What else? Hmmm... tomorrow I have an appointment with my car dealership to do the 37,500K mile tuneup. I just have to do some dishes and hopefully off to bed early tonight.

Back in Richland

We are back in Richland. We went to Washougal to visit friends there and also looked into land and houses. One house has beautiful river & mountain views but just too expensive. We heard Mel Gibson has a mansion there also.

Back at home.

We are back at home. I love going to Bard, but it's all very exhausting. Vince is wired the whole time we are there, even if we aren't doing anything too exciting. So after three days there, we came home and he was in tears and sooo tired. Finally, he's napping now and hopefully will be in a good mood when he wakes up.

On Friday, I got there at 5 pm and met Bob in his office and we went home and had a pizza dinner. Bob spent many, many hours reading books out loud to Vince.

On Saturday, our most exciting day, I went to Poet's walk with Edda and then we all went to the Red Hook Playground for a picnic. Then we went to the Bard nursery school's year end party and hung out there for 2 hours eating cake.

Yesterday, we painted on the sidewalk.

Vince and Bob reading.

Vince painting on the sidewalk.

Edda at the Bard nursery school party.

Edda at Poet's Walk near Bard.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Exploring Bishan

Today I had lunch with Raymond (a colleague) and his family. They are really nice, and after lunch they showed me around Bishan, where they live. It is closer in than Woodlands, which is really on the outskirts. It is centered on an MRT station (North South Line stop NS17) with its own mall (many MRT stations have a mall) and is about halfway between the stop for Chartered (NS 7, 8 or 9) and downtown (NS 22-25). There is also a dog run in the park and some of the Singapore Kennel club classes are held there. I am going to check with the Realtor about whether anything is available in that neighborhood. Most neighborhoods in Singapore have a community center where classes of various sorts are held. At the Bishan community center there are classes in jujitsu, and belly dancing. I am not sure about what else yet. I had more fun than I expected to this weekend, riding around on the subway and walking about town. There are so many different faces to see here, so many different kinds of noses, chins, lips, teeth etc. And because it is the weekend and school is out for midyear break, there were lots of folks around, shopping, flirting, kissing and etc. It was a bit more lively than the subway back and forth to work, besides which I am finally emerging from the last of my jet lag. It will be a lot more fun to run around here with my family. I am looking forward to that.

Raymond and Family at the Thomas Show at the Bishan Mall Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Saturday in Singapore

Today I trekked around Singapore, looking at various things including a prospective neighborhood for our time in Singapore. First I went to the Honda dealership (to have a look at the Jazz and Stream models they don't sell in the US) and the IKEA, where I did not buy anything. This involved a lot of walking around in the hot sun, so then I took a cab to the Woodlands neighborhood. The Woodlands neighborhhod is very close to Chartered, as shown on the upper map below (about 2 KM). The realtor showed me a some houses and a condo there Friday. The houses were too big, but the condo was sort of appealing. The complex (shown with the star in the lower map) has the usual pool and tennis courts, a small gym and a little montesori school inside (with enrichment classes 1-2 hours long). Then I walked to the nearby supermarket (the light brown thing to the left) where there is also a small hawker center/food court, some restaurants, and etc. You can also see the subway station and mall at the top right and the neighborhood swimming complex in the upper left and the edge of the Singapore American school at the bottom left. After walking quite a bit in the hot humid weather I was all worn out and headed back to my hotel. On my way I stopped at Din Tai Fung for dinner. I had tried to go yesterday but got there too late and didn't want to wait that long for a table for one. So this time I got there right at 5PM, and had some old favorites - steamed chicken soup, soup dumplings, spinach with garlic and some Taiwan Pi-Jou. Back at my hotel I had some work conversations (I am working all the time now that I am bored and alone, I miss my family!) and am now about ready for bed. Raymond, a colleague from Chartered with kids about the same ages as ours, called me and we are going to have lunch tomorrow.

Larger map showing condo in center, Chartered on the left across the highway from the lake, and the horse racing track on the lower left Posted by Hello

Condo location is at the red star Posted by Hello

Woodlands Swimming Complex Posted by Hello

Woodgrove Condos in Woodlands Singapore, our next home? Posted by Hello

Friday, May 27, 2005

Hiking again.

The kids slept poorly last night. Edda, my little sleep interrupter, woke up at 5:30 and refused to go to sleep again. Vince got up at 6:30 and wanted pancakes for breakfast. Unfortunatly, we have no milk in the house, so no pancakes.

Edda and I went hiking this morning in two places, Nelsonville and in Hopewell Junction. I really must get my jogging stroller back from Bob and Katherine's house.

I'm going to be up at Bard this weekend, so that's where you can reach me if anyone feels like calling! No internet, so no blogging from me. Have a nice weekend everybody!

This is in Nelsonville the beginning of the Hudson Highland wilderness area. Again, wrong stroller for the job.

This stroller was not meant to cross this mud/stick bridge.

Near the East Fishkill sports complex. There is a little river where people fish.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Sleeping again.

I just want to spend the afternoon in bed. Oh well. We went to the last library storytime of the season today hoping to see Esther, Caleb and Grace there, but they had called while I was on the phone with Jeremy and cancelled because Caleb woke up all sick and grouchy which was just fine because my children were not behaving like little angels today. PB and J for lunch and no naps!

Self-Portrait (requested by Vince) Posted by Hello

A Nice Walk

This morning I woke up bright and early at 5AM (after a very good sleep) and had a nice walk around the area near my hotel. Starting at Swissotel (which is next to the park on the right of the map below) I went down to the water, around the Esplanade (a big movie theater complex at the bottom right) and up the Singapore river. Then I went up into Fort Canning park (which is the big green thing on the left). It is a big hill where some of the earliest buildings in Singapore's history are located, and it is now a nice park for a walk. I walked all the way around, although I could not read the signs since the sun did not come out until the end my walk. I was a little surprised that a restaurant on top called sunrise cafe was not open at sunrise. Then I went back to my hotel, had a nice talk with Doris, had breakfast, and took the subway to work. The subway ride was not too crowded, since I was going oposing traffic, and I felt quite awake and with it listening to the ipod and reading the Asian Wall Street Journal. It has also been a good day work.

Map of my morning walk at Fort Canning Singapore Posted by Hello

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Went to George Washington's headquarters.

Today we explored George Washington's Headquarters and looked at the Hudson River from the park that surrounds the house. It's suppose to rain all week, so that is a bummer. Edda also pulled up onto her feet today. I was in the bath and she wanted to see what was happening, so she grabbed the edge of the bathtub and hauled herself up!

Edda enjoying the Canadian geese on the property.

From April 1782 to August 1783, General George Washington, commander in chief of the Continental Army, made his military headquarters and residence at the Hasbrouck family's fieldstone farmhouse in Newburgh. Washington's Headquarters is located 12 miles north of the forts at West Point.

The Hasbrouck property, acquired and opened by the State of New York in 1850, was the first publicly operated historic site in the United States. Today, museum exhibits of artifacts recall the events during 1782-83, when Washington's army stood ready for battle until the final days of the Revolution. In the Hasbrouck house, furnishings, personal effects, and reproductions recreate the daily lives of the general, his wife, his officers, slaves, and servants during their 16-1/2-month stay.

A long day in Singapore

I arrived at Singapore at 6AM this morning. Now, 12 hours later, I am back in my room wondering when my family will wake up. It was a pretty good day. Things were slow at work, but I did make progress on various beaurocratic details I needed to attend to at both AMD and CHRT. It was nice to see Dakshi, and we did a good bit of walking around outside on our way from CHRT to AMD. Being outside in the bright sunlight really helps with staying awake.

Another Singapore balcony picture Posted by Hello

The view of my room from my blogging post Posted by Hello

The view of Singapore from my hotel room balcony on the 60th floor Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Much too late..

Jeremy made it to Singapore just fine, he's staying on the 60th floor of his hotel. I'm going to sleep early tonight, I've been staying up until midnight for a few weeks now and it's really caught up to me. I dropped Ruby off up at Bard so Bob could take care of her.

Big Meeting Monday

Well, there was a big meeting of the minds on Monday. Our project is working in collaboration with UCSB in order to come up with a system that can store this satellite data. of course, nobody really knows what we are actually trying to store or accomplish. It's rather painful.

But I think one thing is clear to me anyways. It seems like our side is a little more disorganized and vague than the UCSB side. :P I'm pretty impressed with UCSB's technical lead. I feel he's one the right track to building a system that'll last 100 years. Apparently, Stanford is trying to piggyback our archive on the Stanford Digital Repository software that might be a lot harder to maintain down the line.

Of course, I didn't really say much at the meeting. I never can contribute in this fashion, tho I suppose I should if I have opinions. Of course, these meetings tend to be on a high level too, so I figure it would be politically prudent to keep my mouth shut for a little bit anyways.

Monday, May 23, 2005

He's off to the races!

Jeremy just left for SGP... we are manning the fort in Wappingers Falls.

For picture day, I want to look like Cappa. Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 22, 2005

A Big Saturday

I just got back yesterday morning from a successfully trip to Austin and Sunnyvale. I am a bit tired from the red eye flight Friday night/Saturday morning, but all is well. I got back to our house at about 9AM (I took the bus to the train). We got cleaned up and went to Bard for the day. We had a really nice day.

The whole day was lovely, but dinner-time was the most eventful. We had planned to meet Pop once the days graduation festivities were over. While the kids were asleep in the car we did some grocery shopping to replenish the very empty (and not very cold) fridge. The farm stand on the way to the Kingston Rhinecliff bridge is now open, and we bought some nice spinach and apples. We also bought preparations for a simple spaghetti dinner at the IGA. Pop ran into Mao Ja-Ming and his parents at graduation, and invited them to drop by. So we were waiting for them before cooking the pasta for dinner. We had just become too impatient and dropped the noodles into the water when they arrived. His mother is a funny lady, she was all over Doris, telling her how much she liked her, how great everything about everyone was, and etc. The funniest part was at some point she started saying something that I could tell was about Katherine, and how great and beautiful and good she was. Mao Ja Ming was clearly very embarrassed and Doris was laughing and I was very interested to hear the story. He was too embarrassed to translate, but what I finally got from Doris and him was according to his mother Ja-Ming had said that his ideal future wife would have all the traits of Kathrine, which we all agreed would be a pretty fortunate package. They also left a bunch of gifts. They will be staying with their son in his tiny apartment in Manhattan for about a month, and would love to see Katherine when she gets back. Of course they are so grateful, especially to Katherine, and recalled as well how she picked Mao Ja-Ming up from JFK when he arrived these 5 years ago. When they drive to Bard for the graduation they were able to appreciate what an extraordinarily generous act that was. Meanwhile, during all of this, our simple spaghetti dinner had already finished cooking and was presumably congealing into a solid spaghetti lump in the kitchen. I tossed some oil in with the pasta and we asked if they would join us, but they already had other plans. While they were there, Pop got a phone call revealing that the donors for the science building, who had been up the graduation, had left something in his car. He ran to fetch it, and on further discussion discovered that no one had made any arrangements for their dinner. So as the Ma's were walking out, Pop made arrangements for them to join our spaghetti dinner (already getting sticky on hold in the oven). He ran to Finnburg to fetch them and we set the table. By the time they arrived we had replaced the first set of frozen peas, which had turned brown sitting waiting too long, and set the table.

We actually had a very nice dinner, with both kids eating heartilly and on pretty good behavior. The pasta was not actually too fatally congealed, thanks to the wonders of a generous helping of olive oil. By the time dinner was over it was almost 8:30, and our kids (and I) were beginning to show some signs of the approaching bedtime hour (I had been falling asleep all day whenever I sat down for more than 3 minutes). Pop took the donors for a drive to look around and back to Finnburg, and we put the food away and took the dogs for a walk. There were little golf carts buzzing all over campus and the excitement of the evening drew us, through occasional drizzle, a detour at a time, from our planned destination at Ludlow, all the way down to Blithewood, where there was post graduation dancing, eating and fireworks. We saw Anya Rose, Eileen, Sheila and a million other people. We did not see Pop and the donors, who were there also. Eileen found some great toys for the kids, I found some brownies (Ruby enjoyed one too) and then the fireworks started. It seems Vince is another in a long line of Martin men who don't much care for fireworks (especially past bedtime) so we retreated. With Eileen's help we commissioned a golf cart limousine and I sat facing back with the two dogs, Ruby lying on the seat, Trudy more or less on top of her, and the jogging stroller wedged in behind. Doris had the two kids wrapped in her arms to keep warm, and off we went. Everyone cheered up as we got a little further from the fireworks, and by the time we made it home, Trudy was really enjoying the ride, with the wind blowing on her nose as we shot across lawns and up the hill, all the while standing right on top of Ruby. We loaded up the car and almost everyone fell right asleep as we drove home. Today we are doing laundry and I have to start packing again, as I head off to Singapore on tomorrow night.

Can I say Chucky Cheeeeese Posted by Hello

Graduation at Bard.

Yesterday, Jeremy returned home from CA and I picked him up at the Beacon train station at 9:30am. After a little bit of bumming out at home, we headed up to Bard to see Bob and hang out on campus. Bob was participating in a bunch of graduation activities and we were planning to have dinner together after the ceremony was over. It was a beautiful day, the forcast was always threatening rain, but it never really happened.

We had lunch at McDonalds, then went to Bard to see Ruby. We met George Rose, a Bard grad and now a bio professor at Johns Hopkins, who was up for a meeting about the new science building/initiative on campus. For the afternoon, we bought groceries and drove around Rhinebeck so the kids would nap. We went home and stole cookies from graduation.

Bob got back at dinnertime and Jeremy started making dinner. A surprise of sorts happened and we actually had the major donors of the new science building over for Jeremy's welcome home spaghetti dinner. We went out with the dogs and made it to the Hudson River to see the fireworks, but the kids and dogs were scared so we took one of the waiting golf carts home.

108.

That's how many dollars I have in coins. Whee! I spent about half an hour organizing them. Fortunately, my roommate, Eon, has a coin sorter, so I don't actually have to count out the coins. What a life saver!

Saturday, May 21, 2005


Vince stealing a cookie from the snack table at graduation. Notice he is wearing a girl's shirt.

Vince - ready for graduation!

Worked 12 Hours Today

Worked 12 hours today to make up the time off during this week. Well, another hour will do.

Bicycle ?

Analyze bicycle structure, please check on http://www.mece.ualberta.ca/tutorials/ansys/BT/Bike/Print.pdf

Breaking Records, Three Times a Week, From PIT -> DC and Back

Well, how about that. Just went and came back yesterday again. Hope, I am not going to do this too much.

Friday, May 20, 2005

At AMD's company picnic - without Jeremy


At Bowdin State Park - Vince right before the dastardly deed.

Shit in pants.

Vince, riding out a sugar high (he had marshmellows, hershey's chocolate bars, doritos, rice krispie treats and capri sun for dinner) at Jeremy's AMD company party, shit in his pants today. Ugh, what a mess. He had to go home naked.

Working From Home...

Finally! I've gotten my benefits package online! It's about time. laff. I'm working from home today, but mostly trying to setup my computer to run all my desktop apps. :P

I got invited to Ana and Ben's wedding also. OMG that invitation is pretty crazy. I wonder how much it cost them to put that thing together... I don't think I'm going to go tho.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Lovely day.

We had a really nice day today. I spent a lot of it up at Bard, playing with Andrew, the little boy across the street from Bob and Katherine's house. It was so beautiful outside. Vince and Andrew make a nice pair, Vince ran up to him and gave him a hug and then they held hands all the way to the sandbox. Graduation is on Saturday at Bard and the campus is just freshly painted and groomed waiting for the parents to come and celebrate with the new graduates. Ruby was so excited to see us, she's been in the house by herself for days now. Bob just got back from Budapest.

Daddy is opening the ice wine which Jerery got it from Germany. We like it very much Thanks Jerermy! Posted by Hello

this is the butt of the bird. He is dancing Posted by Hello

Campus

It's a bit strange to be on campus now. Everyone is sporting an iPod or jabbering away on their cell phones. It's a different atmosphere.

I have to say that the one thing that truly makes me cringe is watching all the bicyclists flying by. It really really hurts me when I see people riding bikes that are like 3 times to large for them or hearing everyone's drivetrain squeak and groan or looking at folks who have the seat down and their knees never go straighter than 110 degrees. oh well.

Revenge of the Sith

Last night, I went to see Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith the AMC Mercado (the highest grossing AMC in the country).

They actually cancelled all the showings after 8ish, and were letting people into the theaters around 9. The showings started at 12:01am.
Of course, we got there at like 9:30 and had to wait 3 hours before our start time at 12:30. Personally, I think I'm too old to do this anymore, but whatever, a lot of people were watching it so what the hey. we ended up play hearts, spades, and some poker with chips on the floor even!

Here's my review of the movie... I'm going to give out some spoilers here, but I figure I'm safe since I don't think anyone's going to watch it.

It was better than the first 2 for sure. More action and a lot of limbs getting lightsabered off. The dialog sucked of course. For me there was almost very little interesting about the plot. I'm not sure you learned anything more about the past that you wouldn't have thought about already....

anakin kills a bunch of jedis, palpatine becomes the emperor. Obi-wan and anakin duke it out. It seemed just like, lucas came out and said, well, this and this and this have to happen in order for anakin to become darth vader. And then he just mechanically set out to hit those points.

so yeah, it was okay...

July 4th!

Family reunion is going to happen at Sheets Farm Road over July 4th weekend! Our plan is to drive down to DC in our two cars and Ruby and fly out of DC to LA... Hang in LA for a day and then LA to Singapore... Hope you all can make it. We'll do a BBQ!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Made it home.

So I survived a plane ride with my two kids by myself! With a layover in Raleigh-Durham no less. It was much, much better than I anticipated. The toughest part was getting out at JFK (staircase deplane-ing and then the elevator was broken to get to baggage claim. But a few people came by and helped us out and Ben helped me get the luggage and the car seats out to long term parking. I didn't get lost on the way home either. Woo hoo.

Ben Wen invited me to his wedding. It's right near us, in Catskills, NY. I'm really bummed I can't go, we'll be going to another wedding on the other side of the ocean.

Vince and Edda on our flight to Austin.

The family at Town Lake trail. Vince doesn't quite get the idea of the timer on the camera.

Vince at the BookPeople storytime. This does not even begin to show you how many people packed this place.

Soccer mom Sheila with Edda.

VInce and Josh at Josh's last soccer game of the season.

Vince enjoying his first airplane trip without a car seat. And he sits by himself on a small regional flight.