Friday, August 31, 2007

Movie night on the roof

Jim and Celia had a movie night at their penthouse tonight. It was so hot that outside was the logical choice. So for those who were not able to get away for the first day of the holiday weekend this was a "cool" way to spend it.
The set up with the projector and speakers...
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View of the city to the right.
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After the movie, Cathy holding Wonton and Yelena trying to keep cool outside.
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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Full Lunar Eclipse

It took place early this morning... EARLY THIS MORNING! It started at 1:55 am and lasted well past 5:00 am. When I learned the hours of when it was going to take place, I was a little hesitant but I thought I have never seen one so I was not going to miss this one.
I was already disappointed with the last "heavenly show" so something this big shouldn't disappoint. The meteor showers a couple of weeks back produced one meteor and that was pure luck that I saw that one!
I blended a few shots together instead of loading up in individual shots of the moon. This first one was when it started.

This next series was just before it went into total eclipse.
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By the last phase of the shot (bottom right) it was already a little after 4 am. I called it a wrap then. I'm glad I stayed up for this, it was really something. There are just some things the camera can't pick up and you have to experience it for yourself.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

A Pair of Birthdays

Jim and Celia hosted another get-together at their place last night. Ping and I had our birthdays this month on the 6th and the 14th (respectively). So a few friends got together and some brought their dogs...
Our cakes.
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Ping blowing out her candles (I blew mine out already).
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The birthday celebrants.
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Cutting the cakes. Everyone got one of each.
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Camille playing with Super Wonton.
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Wonton making a break for it.
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Even though Ping missed on the break...
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She ended up winning the game.
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I want a rematch!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Bolsa Chica Bonfire

It has been a while since I've let the pyro in me play a little, so I thought a bonfire at the beach was in order. I told a few friends that they were welcome to join me if they wanted but all I would be providing was fire.
Stevie and I got to the beach at about 3pm and though it was sunny and warm, there was a nice and cool steady breeze from the water.
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Tried out my "take-anywhere" kite.
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This guy used this to pull a good sized camper. It has a stripper pole and the platform even rotates. He has a disco ball, lights and a pretty good sound system. There were no dancers though there were 3 families in the party with lots of kids...
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The sunset was beautiful. The sun still showing through the clouds before it disappeared behind Catalina.
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The SooHoos were the first to arrive, then the Wongs minus Bradley.
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We have FIRE!!! No lighter fluid here! Lighter fluid is for wimps! hahahahahaha!
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Took a long exposure shot up the beach.
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Grace brought some hotdogs but no one had anything to cook them over the fire. Berda had chopsticks but they were way too short. Stevie broke his chair earlier in the day, so I cannibalized it and extended the weenie roasters.
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We had to cut it short because Berda caught on fire...
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Not really but it sure looks like it. It was a good night, we even saw the fireworks from Disneyland off in the distance. Actually we heard it first. It was a good night for a bonfire.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

My Disney Birthday

Some of the girls from my old church "accompanied" me to Disneyland for my birthday. I was going to play that part down, I figured that since Natalie and Allison were leaving for college, it would be nice to go to Disneyland before they left... they had other plans.
Here are the conspirators: Traci, Allison and Natalie.
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They quickly "marched" me right into the Disney City Hall for my birthday button
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and a phone call.
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My favorite character, Goofy, was on the other end singing Happy Birthday to me.

We first got on the Indiana Jones ride and we found a hidden Mickey in the ride queue.
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We had gotten FastPasses for Splash Mountain so we had some time to kill. So, we went on the Haunted Mansion, Thunder Mountain Railroad, Buzz LightYear's Astro Blasters and the Winnie the Pooh ride. I've never been on the Winnie the Pooh ride before yesterday so that was a first for me.
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This is us (well, minus me) before the ride.
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I know how wet a person can get on this ride, so I had put away my camera. Except for Allison, we got off pretty good. My right shoe got filled with water but otherwise a splash here, a splash there... But Allison got hit with a freak wave! The water splashed off to the side but when it hit the wall, a wave was created and pretty much... well the word would be "engulfed".
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Here is the ride picture. I usually block out the person behind me so I told her that when it came time for the picture, I would lean to the left and she should lean to the right. Glad it worked out this time. I wonder if they bought the picture? I just took a picture of it.
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It was about time for lunch and we tried to see if we could get into the Blue Bayou but they were all booked up. But we were able to get seated across the way at Cafe Orleans. We were feeling pretty good having a good time but our "assigned" waiter was either not having a good day, was still in training or was not cut out to be a waiter. He definitely needed some "Disney" people skills. But we befriended another waiter and he more than made up for the other waiter's short-comings. The other waiter, John was awesome!
By the way, have I mentioned yet how when the cast members see my birthday button say "Happy Birthday Angel" just like that? Well, they did! They can't miss it, it is a good sized button! The first waiter didn't even say Happy Birthday but John was all over it! After we were done with our food, John came by and gave me a Birthday Mickey Beignet.
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Obviously, this was not going to be enough for the 4 of us so we ordered some more... hmmmm.

So after a 1-1/2 hour lunch we headed over to California Adventure. The day was getting even warmer so we were looking for a more complete soaking. So off to the Grizzly River Run.

It was a 40 minute wait so we got FastPasses and went for other rides. We went on Soarin' over California where a cast member told the girls in a roundabout way that the rails were not for exercising. Then we got on Tower of Terror, where the girls got the cast member there to "Make a moose".
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Traci and Natalie wanted to go on the Maliboomer but Allison and I were not having any of that! Sure they look happy and calm before the ride started...
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But as soon as the ride shot up...
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Then it was time for the Grizzly River Run. You already know what we looked like before. We were already a little damp, well except for Allison but she was well on the way to relative dryness. My right foot was still a little wet. After the ride or should I say swim?
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This time Allison stayed relatively damp while the rest of us were submerged. My shoe had fishes in it. Traci didn't look all that wet but she was. Natalie was soaked as well. We were going to head back to Disneyland when a cast member made a comment to me about Texas. then I realized I was wearing my Texas A&M shirt.
I've ever been to Texas A&M. I've never been to that part of Texas. Texas A&M is just one of the college football team that I follow. I get more comments from strangers when wearing this shirt than any of the other college jerseys or any sports team jerseys that I own.
Anyway, Phil is from Lubbock, Texas and we talked for a while.
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A Disney Photographer saw me take picture with Phil and I did not want him to feel left out so... Here's Manuel from Costa Rica.
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Back in New Orleans Square, we saw a friend of Allison working.
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We got FastPasses for Autopia (Hey Natalie, is it Autopia or Auto-topia?) and went on Pirates of the Carribean while we waited for our assigned return.
Everyone wanted their own car so I rode while Traci drove so I can take pictures.
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Once the ride was over we met up with Kahy, Derrick, Kristen and Rachel. We all headed out to Matterhorn.
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After that it was time for dinner. We headed over to the Plaza Inn for the fried chicken dinner.
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Katthy, Derrick and I kicked back while the kids went off in search of more rides. Kathy and Derrick had another surprise for me. Kathy had asked for copies of some of the pictures I've taken in the past. She had them made into blank greeting cards. They are so awesome that I don't want to use them but I will.
After a few rides, Kathy and Derrick were ready to go. Derrick had to get up early for work the next day. Traci went with them but Kristen and Rachel stayed with Natalie, Allison and me in the park. There was only enough time to do Matterhorn once more and then we capped off the day with another run on Indiana Jones.

It was a great day in the park despite the heat. The park was not so crowded that the lines were intolerable. I've always had fun in Disneyland, c'mon it is the "Happiest Place on Earth".
But yesterday was made even more enjoyable due to the friends who were there with me that day.

Allison, Natalie and Traci. Thank you very much for an awesome day!