" /> Shanghai Yummy: March 2006 Archives

« February 2006 | Main | April 2006 »

March 29, 2006

1 Layer Down... 4 to Go

I am particularly pleased with the Seattle Seahawks' acquisition of Tom Ashworth, perhaps because of the football implications, but mostly because we no longer have to endure those awful Visa "5 Layers of a Burrito, er Protection" commercials.

Score one for the hackers!

March 20, 2006

First Hike

Well, the weather was gorgeous today, so J, K, and I headed for the mountains. That's what I love about living here... it's only a short drive to so many awesome hikes. We went out last week, but one could hardly call that a hike. More like a nature walk. Today's adventure was the first real hike, including about 1700 ft of elevation gain on an approx. 5 mile out and back.

I have to say, I am out of shape. Found myself feeling the burn for a while, but I didn't want to take it too easy because I wanted to at least get a decent workout, and also because I didn't feel like putting my long pants on even though we were hiking through about a foot of snow near where we made the turn around. Yeah, gotta love hiking in shorts through snow. That's Spring for ya.

In any case, after a while I settled into what I'll call a measured slog. It didn't burn as much, and I knew that I could maintain the pace for a while. So it was a good feeling, but it took a while to get there.

It was a great feeling to get that first real hike out. I mean, everything was beautiful and it just felt great to be out there. Looking forward to more...

March 12, 2006

Word of the Day


March 9, 2006


J treated me to a weekend in Scotland for my birthday. On the way over, I clicked over 3/4 million United flight miles. The trip involved a total of 23 different vehicles: 2 busses, 2 airport trams, 2 Boeing 757s, 2 Boeing 777s, 10 trains, 2 taxis, 2 London Underground trains, and 1 private car. We were a bit harried, since there wasn't a lot of time and we wanted to get as much in as we could.

You can see some of the pictures from the trip over at flickr.

We were able to visit some of the sites that I'd long read about or heard about from other friends, such as Edinburgh Castle, Stirling, and of course, the William Wallace Monument. The Monument was probably the most meaningful part of the trip for me. Standing up there looking at the lay of the land, you can gain a small insight into the tactics and the mind of William Wallace as he plotted to crush the English army at the Battle of Stirling Bridge.

The highlight of the trip, though, was the two hours we spent at The Macallan Distillery in Speyside. The journey up there was so picturesque. I was busy soaking in every moment in the hopes that every time I savor their fine Scotch, the images of the pristine countryside would come back. We were fortunate in that we had just missed a snowstorm, or else we wouldn't have been able to make it out there, but there was still a good six inches of snow on the ground, so it made for an idyllic winter scene.

The tasting was exquisite... starting with the rough spirit drawn from the stills before it is casked. Basically, The Macallan Moonshine. After taking a moment to settle the palate and nose from the shock of 70% alcohol, we went through the range: 10 Year Old Fine Oak, 12 Year Old Sherry Oak, 15 Year Old Fine Oak, 18 Year Old Sherry Oak, 25 Year Old Sherry Oak, and 30 Year Old Fine Oak. My favorites were the 25 with its smoothness, and a surprising 15 Fine Oak. The price is comparable to the 12, and yet it's something lighter, fruitier, and a nice change from the "usual."

We also brought back some limited release whiskys: a 1950's replica, The Woodland Estate limited release (buying this 12 year old release entitled us to name one of a thousand oak trees that they will plant on the Easter Elchies estate this year), The Easter Elchies Seasonal Cask Selection which is only available at the distillery (this winter, it is a 14 year old single cask), and the jewel of our take, one of four bottles remaining of the 1979 Gran Reserva 18 Year Old.

The only problems with the trip were that it was far too short in duration (we're both determined to go back, with friends) and far too limiting in our selection with the 2 bottle per person limit imposed by the US Customs.