Friday, June 26, 2009

Extreme Acro Gymnastics.

This first week of summer, Vince went to gymnastics camp. Today was the last day and they wanted to show off in a little performance. There was suppose to be a video - but our video camera is on the fritz - so you just get some fuzzy pictures.

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After the performance, Edda got a turn on some of the trampolines and had a nice time.

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Rattlesnake Again !

We saw a rattlesnake again at the same spot as last time during our noon time walk. I went to the upper-level parking lot to get my camera in our car. But, when I came back, the snake was gone. As a side show, we saw a deer in the parking lot eating grasses.

Yesterday, we saw several whales playing along the Shell Beach, just half block away from our duplex apartment. And, of course, Mom picked more loquat fruits of our neighbor's. They are really happy to see us show up almost every other evening to pick the fruits.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Commuting.

It has been kind of a mess on the Red Line this week. It's been a few days since the accident, and they are running tests and trying to figure out what went wrong. Empty trains pass stations and full trains announce that you have to offload. It's been slow going for me back and forth to work this week.

Today was the first day that trains were going past the point of the accident, although only on one of the two tracks. It's slow going because like a two lane street that has one lane blocked off, the trains have to take turns going through the choke point. And everything is running slower because the trains are run manually and so the trains are spaced further apart and also, for whatever reason, a lot of the trains I've been on have broken down. So I've easily spent about 4 hours on the Metro today, mostly packed shoulder to shoulder with other of my fellow Washingtonians.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Washington DC.

This past Sunday, Vince and I headed downtown to meet with a friend of mine from work, Jane. Jane is young, single and doesn't spend a lot of time with little kids, I think Vince amused her with his rather manic rate of going through the Air and Space and the Natural History museum. Also, I think that it was the first time in a long time that she ate at McDonald's (Vince's choice for lunch).

Vince and I rode to the metro.

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Yeah, baby, we rule the Mall.

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It was a nice day to be at the Mall, usually during the summer, it is so hot and humid and there is practically no shade on the mall, it's really unpleasant. But on Sunday, it was cool enough for a sweatshirt and also, they shut down a lot of the streets for a triatholon.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Being an adult.

Being a grown up means that you have to spend money on things that you can't see. Dental surgery, for one. House repairs for two. This weekend we had our gutters cleaned because rain was just pouring straight down the side of the house. Today we had the plumber, the appliance repair guy for the stove and the HVAC guy come to do work or maintenance on the house. The HVAC guy just came to do the summer check up which gave Jeremy another opportunity to talk about a geothermal system. The plumber came to look at a leak in our ceiling coming from an upstairs bathroom (not the best picture ever, but the leak in the ceiling is at least 4 feet long).

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After I scheduled all these appointments to miraculously happen on one day, thus maximizing the use of time, I discovered during a recent wet car ride, that my car's roof is also leaking somehow. Sigh.

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Coyotes and Rattlesnakes

Several weeks ago, Rena & I saw a coyote in the park lot. Yesterday, after drove home with Mom, I came back to office to retrieve my personal computer and brief case, I saw another coyote crossing the road.

Today, during our regular noon time walking, Rena and I encountered a rattlesnake on a semi-paved space for parking trailers & power plant equipment. The snake wasn't in the coiled position and, therefore, not ready to strike. No danger at all. Mom just walked away and walking back. I walked forward a litter and studied the snake more and the snake turned his head and headed back to brown grassy areas slowly.

People working in the plant told me that we may encounter mountain lions. Therefore, there are a lot of wild land animals around our office (ie., Diablo Canyon Power Station.) beside the ones in the sea. Some of them are pretty innocent and doing no harm. Some of them, will cause a lot of trouble if one let down one's vigilance while doing their daily routines here.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Red line and accidents.

Both Jeremy and I were on different Red Line trains when the accident occurred, but we were going in the opposite direction from the collision - ironically, I had been stuck on the Metro for over 2 hours for a completely separate reason (a train broke down in my direction) when over the loudspeaker, our train operator said that there was now an emergency in both directions. Just so shocking that people died in the accident - my thoughts are with their family and friends.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day.

We started our Father's day celebration last night, Jeremy opened his gift after dinner - what did we get him?

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The $10 waffle iron from Target (I was willing to buy the pricier model, but he specifically asked for the cheapest model).

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This morning, I went to the Joy of Cooking and almost fainted after I read how much butter to use for the most delicious waffles (2 whole sticks!).

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Happy Father's Day!

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Wide angle noses.

Vince and Edda being silly at breakfast today.

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Jeremy's resume.

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My dad is a scientist. He needs to read and write notes to people and use a calculator. He convinces people to not waste fuel.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Crazy week.

(Photo has nothing to do with the post. I just think every post needs a photo and I haven't been photographing lately. Jeremy is practicing his soldering in the kitchen. Why not in the garage? I dunno.)

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Jeremy's been busy all week at work, as I mentioned before, Jeremy's work has really been exciting and interesting for him, lots of people to see, lots of work to do. At my own work, I'm reviewed quarterly, and today is the end of the quarter and I'm preparing for my certification exam next week and so there is also a little bit of scrambling involved. Also, the kids are out of school, so we are condensing or juggling our work schedules a little so Eliana doesn't have to watch the kids for 11 hours straight. Just little things, no real complaints, happy to be employed and healthy and busy.

I got the insurance straightened out, I made the insurance company bend to my will! No, I just called the next day and got a different person and explained it in a new way and he put me on hold for a few minutes and voila! the anesthesia bill will be "readjusted". Thank goodness.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A dress from Micronesia.

Here's Edda at Vince's end of the year picnic, she's not really thrilled to be there, but she did eat a hot dog. She's wearing a lovely dress from Micronesia sent across the ocean by her grandmother Kiki who is galavanting across Asia this summer. This is one of the few pictures of Jeremy sitting on the ground. He is so inflexible that sitting on the ground cuts of circulation to his legs.

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Remember Edda's dental surgery? Well, we are slowly getting the bills from the hospital. Apparently, insurance will cover 90% the hospital charges (total was about $10,000, so we are out $1000 - can you believe it? She was there about 5 hours), but the anesthesiologist - (otherwise known as the whole point of going to the hospital rather than strapping Edda down in a dental chair with tie-downs from Home Depot) apparently not covered (approx $1300 $1900). You know, I'm coming to terms (painfully) that our health insurance won't cover a stair lift, a conversion seat for the van and/or a communication device - but this action confuses me. Yeah, come to the hospital, enjoy the jello! But hey, no anesthesia for your oral surgery. Makes perfect sense, who are these weird insurance people? Woo hoo!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Vote for Girl Power 2 Cure!

Hello blog readers - please spend 5 seconds and vote to help raise awareness to find a cure for Rett Syndrome. (The link is at the bottom of this post!)

MindComet has launched CommuniCause, allowing America to select an organization to receive their pro bono social media services. America can vote for their favorite charity that they’d like to see win the grand prize of a Social Media Makeover valued at $25,000.

A winner will be randomly selected from the top ten charities that receive the most votes and upon awarding the winner, MindComet will provide the winner with expert consulting services to help improve their social media presence and fundraising outreach.

HOW COOL!!!

We have entered Girl Power 2 Cure in this AMAZING contest! Please vote for Girl Power 2 Cure by clicking this link: VOTE

Last day of school.

Today, Vince's school had their end-of-the-year picnic. They had pizza, ice cream and a DJ. Vince loved it, Edda did not.

YMCA:

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Hanging upside down, shirt inside out:

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Crossing the jungle gym.

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Dentist.

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Remember Edda was fussy? It most likely was her teeth. We went to the dentist last week who confirmed that she had an abscess due to a molar coming in a crooked angle. Anyways, the whole time I was setting up the appointment to the time that I actually got to the dentist I was thinking 2 things. One, please, please, please let this be a dental problem which does not involve general anesthesia and two, it just will kill me if Edda had been in intense pain for 2 weeks (I looked up abscess on the internet and all over the entries was written INTENSE PAIN!!!) and I did nothing about it.

So regarding worry #1, the abscess does not require going under. Thank goodness. And worry #2, I asked the dentist and hygienist about the pain and they both said they've seen kids with really bad teeth and abscesses and they seem fine and relatively pain free. So whatever, it seems if Edda was in great pain, she would have let me know somehow. Anyways, we have a follow up appointment in a few weeks to see how the dental saga ends.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Morro Rock, Morro Bay & "Sea Weed Beach", CA






















Today, we drove to Morro Rock and Morro Bay after work. Morro Rock is a 25-million years old undersea volcano. For centuries, it served as a sea navigation landmark along the central California coast.
Here are several pictures to share:
1) At south side of the Morro Rock facing Morro Bay and Los Osos.
2) At north side of the Morro Rock - Mom was looking something stickied on the rocks
3) At north side of the Morro Rock, Up and close
4) & 5) Looking at Morro Rock from the east, Morro Bay just in front of the Morro Rock
The last picture is about the "Sea Weed Beach" where Mom found the best sea weeds on our dinner table. Of course, we just gave the beach name ourselves. It is absolutely unpolluted and very few people know about it. It locates inside the PG&E property lines but has the best sea weeds.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

One of those days.

There was something wrong with the gas cook top that was pretty simple to fix and Jeremy started fixing it at 7:30 this morning (note coffee mug and bed head).

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By the time we finally stepped away from the stove at 1:30 this afternoon and called a temporary truce between us and the stove, we had made 3 trips to Home Depot, taken a hacksaw to one of the burners and also called the repairman for a Tuesday appointment. Don't even ask.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Working hard.

Between the two of us, I'm a work-a-holic and Jeremy is not. When we first met in graduate school, in the midst of falling in love and being totally infatuated with each other, Jeremy actually got more work done because I insisted that I needed to go back to lab after dinner and he would agree to come with me and work and extra two or three hours. I knew when I married him, I would more likely to be guilty of staying late at work than he would ever be.

So it is with some surprise that at lunch today, I asked him, "You are working all the time, aren't you?". Even though his hours at home vs. work have not changed, I notice that he tucks in an email or two as he's making breakfast, he'll also go over something right before bed. Over the weekend, we'll carve out a few hours for him to work on a report. It's all so quick and subtle that I hardly notice that it's happening - but he did tell me, "yeah, I'm working a lot."

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Graduation.

Even though there are a few days left in the school year, Edda graduated from preschool tonight. We love(d) Edda's preschool, teachers and aides all wonderful and hard working, I could not have asked for a better place for her.

The graduation was a little like a European soccer match, the fans were a little out of control. When the graduates walked out, all the parents rushed the stage with phones (do they take video now?) and fancy cameras (me included) and no one could see anything. Not a single butt is in a seat.

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I missed the cute little dance numbers, I missed most of the kids getting their little paper diplomas. I almost missed Edda's march to the front of the room. Edda was not thrilled to be at school at 7:15 pm. She wanted to be in the middle of her bedtime routine. Vince rushed the stage and managed to take his shoe off at the same time. All and all, a good time. Ha!

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The wonderful Ms. Sarah who taught Edda so much this year. (Photo by Vince, hence the low, upward angle of the photo!)

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Becoming a patron of the arts.

I'm hoping that as Edda grows up, she will learn to turn her love of Barney, ABBA, and the Avenue Q soundtrack (a little inappropriate for little kids, I know, but she can't talk, so she won't be telling) into a love of live music. Right now, it's a sure bet that we won't last a whole performance (we get persistent whining a lot of the time), but I figure a regular exposure to live music will someday lead Edda to sit through a whole high school performance of Grease (or at least learn that auditorium seats are a nice place to take a nap).

This weekend, Edda and I went to see a live performance of the Baltimore's Men's Choir. It was at the church, I figured it would be pretty low-key, there was a sound-proof crying room to retreat to and also we could just turn home if we needed to.

Started by being asleep in the main concert hall:

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and then retreated to the crying room.

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Jeremy had made fun of me for dressing Edda in a dress and then stretchy capri pants that did not match the day before, so on this day, I went way in the other direction which, at home, looked OK to me, but when we were out an about, I realized that Edda was showing way too much leg (there were shorts under there... they were just short shorts).

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Best Places to Live 2009

Here are 10 Best Places to Live 2009, USA.

1. Albuquerque, N.M.
2. Auburn, Ala.
3. Austin, Texas
4. Boise, Idaho
5. Durham, N.C.
6. La Crosse, Wis.
7. Loveland, Colo.
8. San Luis Obispo, Calif.
9. St. Augustine, Fla.
10. Upper St. Clair, Pa.

For No. 8 - San Luis Obispo

Tucked into California's sweeping Central Coast region is lovely San Luis Obispo, Calif. Its warm, gentle climate, with temperatures rarely surpassing 90 degrees, is perfect for hitting nearby beaches or touring local vineyards. In addition, California Polytechnic State University, which is located in town, infuses the community with intellectual energy.
Although area home prices have fallen by as much as 35 percent over the past two years, the national housing bust may have also created another reason to make San Luis Obispo your home, says John Day, a local real estate broker. "There are just plain good deals" in the current market, he says.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Mrs. Wong

Jane loves make-up (she's 12) and I volunteered to be her model at Sunday night dinner. Growing up, I somehow completely skipped over the makeup phase. I loved hair, but I didn't care very much about make-up. Jane turned me into a completely different person who I now affectionately refer to as Mrs. Wong. Look at them eyebrows! Jane started to pluck some of my white hairs and I told her that she needed to stop because there are a million of them now - you can clearly see them in the first photo. Ack!

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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Fussy, fussy.

Edda's been fussy and complaining a lot lately. I just spent 45 minutes in bed with her listening to her cry and trying not to go crazy myself. It's pretty hard to do. Lately, during the day, she'll be happily watching TV and then all of a sudden, she'll cry at the top of her lungs for 15 minutes while we try and change the video, take her to the potty, try and feed her, etc and then as suddenly as it started, it's all over. I don't know if she's constipated, reflux-y, tired, hungry, in pain, or just pissed that we are having chicken again for dinner (trust me, sometimes Vince gets the most angry at us for our dinner selections, so I wouldn't put it past Edda). I reminds me of her crying jags in the midst of her regression a few years ago, I hope that it isn't her brain somehow rearranging itself to regress again. Who knows?

Interspersed with all this fussiness have been some really fantastic days where it seems like she loves to do everything that we are doing - for example, a few weekends ago, we went to Target and Edda acted like it was the most amazing shopping trip evah! Laughing and smiling and walking for over an hour, why can't everyday be happy? I know, everyday can't be like a trip to Target, but still, one can hope and wish.

See? Even doing the famous bath/soap/mohawk thing-y couldn't cheer Edda up.

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On the other hand, Vince loved it.

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Engineers, Engineers, Engineers, ...

This morning, I found the following article in italic. It is funny. When my professional becomes the number one "hardest jobs to fill in America"? Even with that, if I could start all over again, I probably would become a politicians first, then a lawyer, followed by a doctor. Engineer? No, of course, not.

My family, the immigration-generation of Lees are all engineers. For our next generation, only few engineers and scientists left. The majority of Lees are gradually but surely transforming its into more doctors or MBAs. For our next-next generation, probably no Lee will become an engineer.

The Hardest Jobs to Fill in America

In today's economic climate, it's hard to believe there are jobs that employers are having a hard time filling. But they do exist, according to the staffing firm Manpower's annual talent shortage survey. From the 2,019 employers who responded to the survey in January, Manpower created this list of the 10 hardest jobs to fill in the U.S.

1. Engineer

There are several reasons it's hard for employers to find qualified engineers, says Jonas Prising, Manpower's president for the Americas. First, employers don't want to hire two or three engineers with a variety of specialties, they want one engineer who is trained in several areas. Another reason is that there are far too few new college graduates in engineering to replace retiring engineers. Also, the Obama administration's pledge to rebuild America's infrastructure is increasing the need for talented engineers.

2. Nurse ...

3. Technician ...

4 Teacher ...

5 Sales Representative ...

...

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Ballet demonstration.

We all went to Vince's ballet demonstration (do you see him running in the mirror?). Vincent loves ballet, but he also knows that it's a girl-y thing - I got a little lip from him for that this year, but nothing too serious.

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The light was wonderful.

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Caroline Lee Wallner



































First Congratulations to Brian and Andrea, my sister Margaret's son-in-law and daughter, they just had a baby girl about 10 days ago. Congratulations to Margaret and Joseph Yao too.
Yesterday, our niece, Caroline Lee Wallner, graduated from UCLA Medical School. Most of our brothers and sisters (5 out of 9 including the younger one who passed away while she was an infant because my family were so poor that we couldn't affort to take her to see a Doctor) were there to see her graduating.
The followings are from top to right and front to back:
1) & 2) First picture and the second one, Caroline with her parents
3) She was waving to her parents, aunts and uncles
4) Jim Wallner, AuntLiz Lee, Caroline, Aunt Margaret and aunt Rena
5) Aunt Rena, Aunt Liz, Jim Wallner (her father), Jane Lee (her mother), aunt Dianna, uncle Josepth and uncle Joseph Yao
6) Aunt Rena, aunt Margaret, uncle Joseph Yao and Jim Wallner
7) Aunt Margaret, Jane Lee (her mother), uncle Noel, Jim Wallner (her father) and uncle Joseph Yao
She is a urologist and will be an intern for 6 years with Loma Linda University in California. Congratulations to Caroline and her parents.
When we left our celebration dinner table last night, it almost was 10:00 PM. Since it was just too crowded in my sister's condo. we decided to drive back to Shell Beach, California. When we arrived at our 1/2 duplex, it was 1:40 AM in the morning. A 3 hours and 40 minutes drive, pretty exciting, just like teangers! Born again and born free.