It’s been a hectic last few days. Where to start…

Well, I bought a new laptop on Friday, so I’m no longer restricted to writing journal updates from work. Since I know the nerdier readers are bound to ask, here are the specs on my new, spiffy AMD 64 bit processor HP laptop. I’m really happy with it so far. I haven’t done anything to push it to the max yet, but it seems pretty competent. And thanks to its media card reader, I have some pictures and videos to share.

Kelsey (my younger sister – I don’t think I can call her little any more) is here right now. She’s visiting me for a few days as it’s Reading Week at the U of M. Yesterday, Kelsey and I (and 9 other Microsoft Interns that I invited along for the ride) piled into a few rental cars and convoyed up to Mt Baker, a ski hill close to the BC-Washington border. The conditions were superb. I was worried on the drive up, because we had nothing but rain, but as we hit the base of the mountain, the rain turned to snow and up on the ski hill, they had a ton of fresh powder and it snowed all day.

The drive up was fun. After we left the interstate, I took the lead in the convoy and started flying down winding mountain highways as the poor guys behind me tried to keep up. The day’s motto was “don’t worry, it’s a rental”, as we used and abused our vehicles.

Everyone who came on the trip, except Sarah, Kelsey, and Gustavo, was a newby to skiing or snowboarding. Having snowboarded once before, I was a venerable expert. I spent the morning on the bunny hill smashing into little kids and getting back to the point I was at when I last went snowboarding – which means I could make it about 5 feet before ending up on my butt. Then I spent the afternoon on the runs trying to rip limbs from my body and pack down the fresh snow with my face. I had some crazy spills. Luckily all the fresh snow softened the blows of my many falls and prevented any serious injuries. My body hasn’t forgiven me for the abuse yet, and punishes me every time I try to move. It’s been a struggle to lift my arms and walk around today.

Today, after sleeping like a baby, Kelsey and I headed to downtown Seattle and hooked up with Graeme for some sightseeing. The highlights:

  • The monk fish scaring the crap out of Kelsey at Pike Place
  • This crazy spraying fountain at Seattle Center and all the kids trying to touch it without getting wet
  • And the craziest, funkiest buskers I have ever seen

It’s been a great weekend. Kelsey just finished cleaning up our house, bless her soul. Although I can’t seem to find anything now. I’d like to write more, but it’s late and I have to work tomorrow. More later.
Pictures and a funny, funny movie of Kelsey’s trip so far can be found here.