Saturday through Friday morning found us in sunny, sunny (way too sunny) Eastern Oregon, where I grew up. People are unsurprisingly apologetic about the place, even though Stacy found it delightful and quaint. We spent a day up at Lake Penland with my friends Jason and Rosco at Jason's cabin, two days at my aunt's place in nearby watermelon capital Hermiston for a pleasant family event, then I took Stacy on a tour of downtown Pendleton (all 4 blocks of it). To finish it off, my dad decided that 7am was a good time to wake up and take us on a 200 mile trip to Wallowa Lake. It's much more developed than I remember it being last time I visited (about a decade ago). We took a tram ride up one of the mountains there to about 8150'. Yikes! We had some burgers, came back down, and drove home.
On Friday, we flew up to mega-small-town Spokane, Washington, who's main strip is about 180 blocks longs and there's virtually no mass transit in this town of nearly a half-million. The local bookstore had two shelves of Bibles to make up for all the fast food joints. We had dinner at a place called Top o' China, which boasted "the largest international buffet in the region". I guess mussels covered in colby cheese could be considered "international" cuisine, after all, who would claim that as their own food?! blech.
My good friend Ray and his delightful fiance Kellie were married on Saturday at a lake-side resort, with ducks and speedboats in full force. Stacy and I were so worn out from the previous week's running around that we really didn't get to spend any time with people, we just went back to the hotel after the reception and got some rest.
Next up was Seattle, where we toured downtown eating Piroshki's at Pike's Place and later gelato that was nearly as good as the real Italian deal (so says Stacy, who's the only one between us who would know). We wandered the University of Washington at Seattle campus where I scrounged the university bookstore for books I'd never heard of before. Score! I nearly had to throw some clothes away to get the books back home. Kate was really nice to drive us to the airport at 6am on Tuesday for us to get back to SF.
Now that I'm back in SF, I've built a (mostly) new machine to replace the one that crapped out on me as soon as I left (of course). Now I can shuffle some services onto it from the soon-to-be-defunct machine (the one hosting this blog) before it craps out. Judging from the kernel panics and crazy console messages that will be any day now. hip hip hooray.
I did have the chance to see Goldmember, which was fun but stretching it a bit, and we finally saw Waking Life, which was too gimmicky and a bit heavy handed. Of course, we all knew it had a gimmick but apart from that gimmick, I don't think the movie doesn't stands out.
I had the chance to read "The School of Niklaus Wirth", which I enjoyed even through it's hero worshipping. Essentials of Programming Languages is definitely worth it's weight in platinum (I'd say gold but it's a small book). It seems to accomplish in it's small form what several other, larger books combined have a hard time doing; Walking you through writing a real interpreter for a real language and not leaving you confused at the end.
Now it's off to Lake Tahoe. I haven't had the time to get any of the stuff I wanted to get done this vacation (hacking on my language and working on a paper) but perhaps this weekend will be different. Yeah, right.
# — 01 August, 2002