Friday, February 29, 2008

Lunch time walk with Jack

Jack and I got out for a quick stroll at lunch time. We went down the
local park path. While I admired the stream Jack caught some nature
zzzzz's

What Jeff's Reading

Just to show that I actually read things other than comic books and watch bicycle racing, I wanted to give a book review of what I've been reading.

I just completed book two of the Soldier Son Trilogy by Robin Hobb, "Forest Mage." I had read "Shaman's Crossing" a few months ago. The story is of Nevarre, a son of a Noble who is destined to be a Soldier. Nevare, like all fantasy book main characters, discovers challenges to his pre-determined way of life and is pulled between two worlds.

"The prestigious King's Cavalla of Gernia has been ravaged by the Speck plague. The deadly disease has decimated the ranks of both cadets and instructors, and the few survivors remain weak and frail. Many have been forced to relinquish their military ambitions and will return to their families to face lives of dependency and disappointment.

As the academy infirmary empties, cadet Nevare Burvelle also prepares to journey home. But far from being a broken man, Nevare has made an astonishingly robust recovery from the Speck plague. Yet back in the shelter of his family, Nevare finds his nights still haunted by visions of his Speck self betraying everything he holds dear in his waking life, and his days tormented by a rare side effect of the Speck plague. He also finds himself caught between the sensual, enchanting realm of the Specks and his own ancestry, the world he has always known."

Robin Hobb is a very good writer. If you are not fantasy fan I encourage you to give her a read. She does a great job of writing. Her characters are believable and she quickly hooks you. What I enjoy about this latest series is I find I root for both sides of the conflict. I think that is quite clever. I find myself longing for a win for both sides. I was quickly invested before I knew it. The story skips along. She does a good job of explaining things that are hard to describe like scents and feelings.

As always I'm impressed with her twist on magic and the way to look at what magic can be in the world. The other thing I enjoy about her writing is that she never pulls out the big magic at the end of the story to win the day like other Fantasy writers do. You know the ones that in the last chapter either discover they have power supreme or luckily find the "sword of everything" and defeat their enemies. The magic that Robin Hobb describes is tied up in the ability of the character, the one you've been rooting for and relating to all through out the book.

As much as I like this series I still love her first trilogy, which is called the "Farseer Trilogy" which my Dad is reading now. There are two other "The Liveship Traders Trilogy" and the "Tawny Man Trilogy" that I enjoyed too. All three series are in the same world. Soldier's Son is in a new world (as far as I can tell).

Up next for me is a series my Uncle Tom sent my father by Stephen Lawhead "Hood" and "Scarlet" which is a twist on Robin Hood (not Hobb).

Of course there are some comic readings scattered in there as well. If you have not discovered Marvel Comics Digital Comics you should. A great way to read comics. They use Adobe Flash too.

Cheers
Jeff

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Jack Update

New pics of Jack in the Zenfolio account (see link on the right hand side). There are several of Jack with his PEPS buddies, and plenty of cute poses with Mom & Dad. He has a few with his Abuelo and Grandpa too.

Jack is doing well. Everyday something new and exciting. He's just been a great baby. He's 5 months now. It seems a blur mostly. He's been sleeping through the night since 3.5 months (bless his little heart). Getting some sleep has been so nice. He's found his feet and has started making a lot of noise on his own, which is really cute. He's just a content little guy.

Lavi goes back to work March 20th. Jack starts Daycare on March 17th. That will be a new milestone for all of us. We are optimistic, but know that it will be really hard. Lavi's Mom is visiting again very soon, that will be fun. Lavi's friend Janet (Jack's godmother) is coming for a visit too.

I've been traveling a lot for work. Every other week to San Jose for a night (2 days). Once Lavi starts work that will be more interruptive. We'll see how it goes. The face time with my co-workers and Engineers is so valuable, but I'm remaining effective in my role from Seattlle I feel.

Okay, that is the quick update. Enjoy the photos.

Holland Bike Lane


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Eddie Would Go

When Lavinia and I visited Hawaii for the first time our friend Torrey told us the story of Eddie Aikau. Eddie was a native Hawaiian and was the first lifeguard at Waimea Bay on the island of Oahu. He saved many lives and quickly became well known for going into the waves to save lives when it was really dangerous. When no one else would go, Eddie would go was the phrase they used.

Eddie Aikau took part in a voyage from Hawaii to Tahiti. The boat that they were using (double hulled canoe that the Polynesians used) sprang a leak. Not knowing how far from land they were, Eddie struck out in hopes of securing rescue while the others stayed with the sinking canoe. They were eventually rescued, but Eddie Aikau was never found.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddie_Aikau

The phrase “Eddie Would Go” became part of popular culture. When no one else would help, when it seemed hopeless or challenging, “Eddie Would Go.”

I have liked this story and the use of the pop culture phrase. To me the phrase means that when your help is needed, or your friends are in need, you don’t hesitate. You help. “Eddie would go” is a reminder to me that some times you are the one that can help and you need to step up. It plays nicely to the “great power, great responsibility” Spider-man mantra that I try to live by as well (grin). I like to think that I would be as noble as Eddie.

I really enjoy helping people out. My Non-profit work and I believe friends and family would attest to that. Some times I admit that I do it to my detriment by spreading myself a little thin at times. Yet, if I can help I want to. If you are privy to what has been going on at work you might know what I’m driving at.

Eddie Would Go

Jeff Would Too

Monday, February 18, 2008

Something "wicked" this way comes

A strange unease is hitting the Northwest. Trees are swaying, and being hugged, a little bit differently. It's showers followed by sprinkles instead of sprinkles followed by showers. Action Jim Foreman is cruising the town in the King 5 van cause he's got "a bad feeling." There's an ominous feeling in the air. Somewhere Carrie Akre hugs herself a little tighter because of an unexplained chill. For unknown reasons the proprietor of 74th St. Alehouse decides to order an extra keg of Alaskan Amber. In a basement in Greenwood Jeff Moran sits wide eyed like Connor McCloud feeling the Quickening and whispers softly… "Mark is coming"

Yup, that's right. Coming at ya from the very cold East Coast for the weekend of 3/1 and 3/2. Hope many of you will be free and ready to hangout. I'm spending the preceding week in California and thought I would pop up North real quick and make sure that my nephew is doing okay.

Can’t wait to see you.

-Mark

Let Levi Ride

Help correct the injustice that has been done to American Levi Leipheimer, who's pro cycling team is being barred from the Tour de France.


While you are at it, enjoy the Tour of California as well

http://www.amgentourofcalifornia.com/docroot/tourtracker2008/AdobeTourTracker.html

Tuesday, February 12, 2008