Sunday, January 30, 2011

Birthday in Midland

I am 25 years old. A quarter century. Can't wait to see what the next 25 years bring!

I went out to dinner with some fellow Schlumberger engineers. Someone ratted me out to the wait staff, and I wound up sitting on a saddle mounted on a saw horse, shouting "Yee-Haw!"

Here's a shot of the group:

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Vail, Colorado

I took a four-day weekend and met up with some friends to go skiing in Vail, Colorado. I had a great time re-uniting with my college friends Charlie and Brianna, and getting to know Brianna's cousin Nancy. We rendezvoused at Brianna's place and drove up to Vail on Thursday afternoon, where we had rented the bottom floor of a "Bavarian Chalet" - it was a very nice place, and I'd definitely like to go there again.

Vail was absolutely gorgeous, even if the second day had low visibility. The runs were extremely long, so we only took a couple trips on the ski lifts each day. We definitely all had a good time.

I went on a short black diamond run during my last trip down the mountain. I took quite a few tumbles, but hey: I made it!

That's me in the circle.
During the drive back we had a small accident - fishtailed on some black ice, and hit the center concrete barrier at low speed. No one was hurt, and we quickly had the car back in drive-able condition. However, further down the road we smelled burning oil. We pulled off at a gas station and called a tow truck - finally got back to Brianna's place after 2 in the morning.

Even with the accident on the drive back it was a terrific trip, and it was difficult to leave and head back to Midland.

There are a few more photos on my Picasa page.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Christmas and New Year's

The holidays were fantastic, if only because I got out of Texas for a while and left my company laptop behind (on purpose - accidentally leaving it behind would have been bad).

I spent nearly two weeks with my parents up near Seattle, Washington. Having actual scenery again was amazing.

I spent a lot of time relaxing and reconnecting with family and friends. Mostly I just took it easy, including a re-read of "Towers of Midnight", going for a long drive with Mom and Dad, and learning how to ski. Dad and I even went up to visit a Petroleum Refinery near Birch Bay, Washington. We got a very personal tour, and learned a few things. The size of the plant and the production volume were impressive. Even more impressive was how even "waste" products were turned into salable goods. 

Celebrating Christmas was as much fun as always. This year was a little unusual, as Michelle and Simeon flew out to spend Christmas with Simeon's family. Because of this, we exchanged presents earlier in the week and kept the two of them in our thoughts.

Celebrating with the extended Medema family on Christmas Eve at Grandma's is always fantastic. It's great to reconnect with cousins, aunts, uncles and Grandma. That's especially true for me and the others who live out-of-state. Definitely one of my favorite times of the year.

Update: Thanks for the picture Karla!

On Christmas Day, Dad, Mom and I had our traditional breakfast of homemade crĂªpes (Michelle and Simeon missed out) and then went for a long drive. The primary goal was to visit Snoqualmie Falls but it turned into an extended tour of the area. It was great to see so much green in such a small amount of time. In the evening we had Grandma, Uncle Jim and Aunt Nancy over for dinner. It turned out to be a really nice day.

Note Dad's newly clean-shaven face. Mom and I completely missed it.
On the 30th, Dad, Mom and I drove down to visit Mom's side of the family. Michelle and Simeon met us there on their return flight. It was another very enjoyable day of reconnecting with family with lots of good food, talk and laughter.

On the morning of the 31st, I left Washington and flew down to visit the Bultema family in Colorado. Once again they were very generous hosts and I had a great time with the whole family. While there I went skiing at Monarch Mountain with Brianna and her dad. I had taken a couple lessons at Stevens Pass in Washington, so I was able to do passably well on some blue slopes. It was bitter cold up on the mountain, though. The car thermometer read 0 degrees Fahrenheit, and a lift operator told us it was -13 at the top of the mountain.

As usual, there are more photos and additional comments on my Picasa page.

Kinda cool - Here's the photos from this trip in Google Maps:

View Christmas 2010 in a larger map