Saturday, July 29, 2006

Summer Fun in Timbuktu

Our good friend Sarah Lawrence is always gallivanting around the world. I bet she's on her second passport by now (I'm on my third, but the second doesn't really count because it went through the washing machine). Sarah works with Reign Ministries, traveling to such exotic locals as Nepal and Cuba (legally). This summer she outdoes herself again by missioning in a country so cool, its name contains an article: THE Gambia. Where is The Gambia? All I'll say is, it's somewhere in Africa, somewhere around Western Africa, somewhere surrounded by Senegal. I'm envisioning lions, monkeys, leaches, and fire-breathing dragons. Learn more about her exciting life here at her website:

Fun fact: Timbuktu, Mali, is actually 941 miles to Banjul, The Gambia.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Life Changes Again!

Practicing what we preach, Rachel and Rob strive to take up as little space on this Earth as possible. Witness our new apartment: we downgraded in size (to 750 sq ft), but upgraded in location and amenities.

Tangent: by "amenities," developers point to their walking paths, golf courses, and cheap-o fitness centers. But what about true quality of life? Living where you work, proximity to shopping, entertainment, social interaction with neighbors, and walking trails / green-space should not be mutually exclusive luxuries. If more people like yourselves demanded more densely developed areas and safe neighborhoods and better transportation and proximity to the rest of the world (rather than separation via cul-de-sacs, 6-lane suburban arteries and Petsmarts) developers and city-planners would certainly respond. I think we may give up too quickly on a truly good life by ghettoizing ourselves in the MBA nerd's NPV positive, poorly constructed world of master-planned communities (that's a mouth-full!) Ironically, these "amenity-rich" ticky-tacky communities become undesirable after 10 years because of said poor construction and isolation from the outside world. The once white-washed stucco Krogers are replaced by dingy 99c Only stores, and as home value deteriorates, so do ancillary amenities such as safety and socialization.

Anyway! Rachel and Rob found a wonderful apartment at the corner of Westheimer and Wesleyan, in Highland Village. Highland Village? Yes, in the mornings we walk to Starbucks, for lunch it's PF Changs, and for dinner it's a fantrasmical meal from Central Market (like a really cool Whole Foods). Rachel loves window shopping at Banana Republic and Crate and Barrel!

Before and After - our apartment is super "quaint," but it also feels much more comfortable and homely than our last place. Soon after this picture, Rachel walked over to Pottery Barn to get some cute (and cheap) window treatments.

Those green letters I'm pointing to outside our door say "Central Market" (like a really good Whole Foods). It's as far from our apartment to CM as our old apartment to our old parking spot! Hmm... I'm feeling like a portobello mushroom with hatch chili pesto spread... I'll be back in 5 minutes!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Intel and AMD

Click on the image for a cool tech story - Intel's newest line of chips, the Core 2 Duo, are blowing away AMD's current top-end chips. To be fair, AMD had a great run the past couple of years. But just as Airbus had better planes than Boeing for a couple of years, those times are now past.

Okay Chris, Airbus didn't have "better" planes, but they did sell a lot more than Boeing over the past 5 years.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Summer Vacation (pt 2)

Rachel's visits to Oregon always culminate into some excellent times. Never ones to sit idle, Rob and Rachel jaunted off to several places, including Coffee Cottage, Van Duzer, Dallas (Oregon), Hood River, Cannon Beach, the Tillimook Chease Factory (yum!), and many places in between. Thanks to everyone for making her visits so memorable. Here are some pictures from Rachel's most recent visit to Oregon:

Picking up Rachel at the airport (Rob, Rachel, Chris, Jeanne, Josh)

What we would look like if we had a baby! (Cole, Mitch & Kelleigh's baby)

Jeanne, Rachel, Kelleigh, Mom (Mardock) at Pacific City

Rachel and Dad (Mardock) at Pacific City

Grant and Mitch at Pacific City

Desi, Rachel, Jeanne, Heather at Vista House, Columbia River Gorge

Mardocks and Bellamys mingling on July 4th

Rachel, Chris, Josh, Heather, Joanne, Andy, Jeanne, Desi (Rob always takes the pictures) at Lincoln City getting ready for fireworks. Notice the squinting eyes and strained smiles... it's very smoky at the Lincoln City fireworks show.

Enjoying smores before fireworks at Lincoln City. Crazy fun times had by all!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Chris' Blog

Chris W. (my brother-in-law, Jeanne's husband) has a new blog. Unlike Rachel's and my family blog*, Chris is narrowly scoping his to general politics, religion, and technology trends. Chris is turning into quite the prolific writer - the next Matt Drudge. Check it out here:

*that's how you describe 2 possessives: Dave's and my yorkie, Val's and my house...