小北的不老歌

Monthly Archive: July 2005

A fun evening

The restaurants in Bethesda to Washington DC are like the bars in Sanlitun to Beijing: they make the city fun on weekend evenings. It’s been a while since Ping and I last went to have dinner there (probably shortly after Ping became pregnant) and, having gone there last night for the movie, our craving for the fine cuisines available in downtown Bethesda was revived. So this evening we went out together to a seafood restaurant called “Cameron” in the heart of Bethesda and indulged ourselves in crabs and shrimps. The weather was nice so we picked an outdoor table on the sidewalk. After dinner we strolled up and down the main street, listened to a live jazz concert for a while, chatted to some random stranger (It turned out that she was a UMD alum and an art major), and went home with a full belly.

Here are a few pics I snapped before I got my fingers all sticky with Old Bay spice and crab meat residue.

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企鹅之旅

在萍儿怀孕近一年以后,终于得空去看了第一场电影:March of the Penguins,是看了最近一期National Geographic中的简介以后特意去看的。。原本以为是和《动物世界》一样的纪实片,其实十分感人。企鹅们为了养育下一代付出的艰辛,和人类相比只多不少。最喜欢看毛茸茸的企鹅宝宝们钻在爸爸妈妈肚皮下面探出个脑袋张望的样子。

看完电影以后匆匆赶回家,搂着小南,“企鹅宝宝”,“baby penguin”地一阵乱叫。小南趴在肩头支着脑袋到处张望,不知自己又多了个外号。

A 15 minute call could save you …

nearly 50%.

I’ve always hated the GEICO commercials on TV, espeically those absurdly stupid “I have good news” series. (The few ones featuring the Gecko riding in cars with soothing background music are actually pretty good, though.)

Despite the lack of taste of the GEICO’s ads, I went to their Web site and got a quote for my auto insurance. One reason was that I am unhappy about my current insurance company’s high premium and poor service, and the other was that Atutu mentioned to me he was renewing his insurance. It suddenly occurred to me that my near-minimum insurance coverage was perhaps insufficient now that we have one more member in the family.

So as the GEICO commericals’ tag lines goes: a 15 minute call could save you 15% or more on car insurance. In my case the premium was slashed about 50%, even with a much higher coverage. Perhaps GEICO was extra lenient in calculating the premium, or my old insurance company has been grossly overcharging me all these years. Either way, I jumped for the switch-over almost instantly.

Now I don’t care about GEICO’s commercials that much any more…

Mailbag

Incoming:
– Michigan Football Tickets. I splurged and bought the season ticket, but the one I really wanted to see is the legendary Michigan vs. OSU rivalry, to be played out again on Nov. 19 and the last one in the season. Michigan vs. Notre Dame should be fun too. I guess I can sell off a few of the remaining 5 tickets.
– Maryland Donation Form. This is perhaps the last year in a while that I will be able to keep up with the donation to my alma mater, and even this year I won’t be able to give as much as I originally pledged… oh well.
– Bills… endless bills.

Outgoing:
– Completed donation form, with a $1k check, to Maryland, where I came as a kid hardly the legal drinking age (and enjoyed beer nevertheless) but will be leaving as a father of a 3-month-old girl and vowing to keep her away from all vices including alcohol and bad boyfriends for the rest of her life.
– Finished thesis to the advisor and thesis committee. I am calling an end to the frenzy. Now all that’s left are some slides to go over and some BS to prepare for the defense. Oh and a few thousand more lines of code to write and debug.
– Love… endless love, to the bill collectors.

A Day in the Life of a Stay-at-Home Dad

清早被萍儿匆匆叫起床:“走啦走啦,要迟到啦。”

一跃而起,朦胧地抓上车钥匙出门送萍儿上班。在华盛顿市区的高峰车流里走走停停仿佛时光停滞,边开车边琢磨回家以后要做的事情有一二三四五,萍儿坐在旁边狼吞虎咽地吃带的早饭,于是一时间车里弥漫着白水煮蛋的味道。

到目的地以后,装扮整齐的萍儿下了车,融入无数西装革履匆匆赶路的先生女士们中去款款走去,穿着短裤T恤拖板鞋而且头发蓬松的我左右张望一下,一打轮上19街转E街转17街。才9点不到就已经热得不行,于是开大空调,调高音乐音量,在50 cent的吼声中开过华盛顿纪念碑,穿过tidal basin,对杰斐逊纪念堂行一秒钟注目礼,便上了回家的高速公路。

到家以后和小南玩“说话”的游戏。游戏规则很简单,就是两个人轮流发怪声,我说一句“Ha!”,小南回一句“eh…goo”,我说一句“Hey-Ah-Boo!”,小南回一句“um-Ah”,依此类推,直到小南眼皮开始打架渐渐睡去为止。

打开电脑,继续那无止境的论文修改工作。同时回两封email,上网查一下新闻,和老友聊几句天,泡杯咖啡,听听音乐,再修改几句论文,验证几个计算过程。

回头看看小南,已经醒了,叽叽咕咕地仰面朝天在挥动手脚,穿着一件白底印着黄色小鸭子的衣服,煞是可爱。正准备上前啃一口脸蛋,发现她衣服靠近腰部的地方的印花似乎比别处大些。再定睛一看,黄色印花居然还在扩大。哪里是什么印花!于是小心翼翼地拎起小南来跑进卫生间,剥掉衣服,扯掉不知怎么回事已经松掉的尿布,里里外外黄灿灿的一大堆,然后把小南放到浴池里放水冲。朝小南作吹胡子瞪眼睛状,小南格格地笑,全然不知发生了什么事。

冲洗干净,再把自己的手洗了一遍,再周而复始地——继续那无止境的论文修改工作。同时回两封email,上网查一下新闻,和老友聊几句天,泡杯咖啡,听听音乐,再修改几句论文,验证几个计算过程。

下午出门去购物,在仔细比较了近十种同类产品后,购得宝宝安慰奶嘴两只。出店后发现忘了买尿布和米,又懒得回去,于是归为明天的任务。

下午五点,是该接萍儿下班的时候了。天还是热得不行。于是冲上高速公路,开大空调,调高音乐音量,在50 cent的吼声中开过对杰斐逊纪念堂行一秒钟注目礼,穿过tidal basin,开过华盛顿纪念碑,一打轮上17街转G街转19街。到目的地以后,穿着短裤T恤拖板鞋而且头发蓬松的我左右张望一下,看见装扮整齐的萍儿从无数西装革履匆匆赶路的先生女士们中款款走来。

回家以后匆匆吃完饭,发现小南又在聚精会神地看老爸老妈,便让萍儿抱着坐在沙发上,我在面前努力作滑稽状逗小南玩。窜上跳下大汗淋漓的同时小南看着我咧开嘴格格地笑。

晚上还想继续那论文修改工作……盲目地敲打一阵键盘后决定把宝贵的时间放在遗忘已久的看电视大业上。便歪在沙发上看重播的Sex and the City,直到想起还有今天的blog没有诌出来。

一张车票,八项注意

口袋里还留着周末坐小火车的车票,翻出来看看,没想到车票背面印着八项注意事项,看来不仅火车是十九世纪的古董,连车票也是忠实于历史的。

乘坐本次火车注意事项如下

General Conditions:

  1. The Railroad is not responsible for delays caused by livestock on tracks
  2. Passengers are requested to refrain from spitting tobacco on stoves
  3. All pistols must be checked with the conductor
  4. Positively no shooting of pheasants or cattle from train
  5. Games of chance permitted only in baggage car
  6. All male passengers must assist crew in shoveling snow or pushing if necessary
  7. The conductor is authorized to collect tickets only; no produce or I.O.U.’s.
  8. Passengers: Be on the alert for cardsharks; do not ride on roofs or platforms; do not touch steam lines on locomotive; keep heads and arms inside windows in case of Indian attacks; watch your valuables and children.

Flickr…

Flickr从国内访问的速度极慢,以至于我上传到那里的图片根本不能用在blog里,简直是失望之极。本来发现它有安全漏洞就只把它当作寄放图片的服务器来用,存些照片上去可以方便地和国内的亲友分享,就免得MSN一张一张地传,现在看来这么用也不行。

本来上传了一些昨天去Strasburg的照片准备今天来看图说话,现在被服务好坏不定的flickr弄得兴致全无,明天再说了。

Windows Vista

windows下一个版本一直以来只有longhorn这个codename,今天终于正式定名了,叫Windows Vista。和泥偶同学谈论此事,说起MS有所进步,Vista这个名字比xp要好听。想起回国时兜售盗版软件的小贩常谓”xp”为“叉屁”,都是名字惹的祸。

泥偶叙述关于longhorn的另一个趣事:“一次跟同事去电脑书店,看到一本长号使用教程,指之笑称:还有这么翻译longhorn的,
然后拿起来一看:是真的长号吹奏的教程。” 实在是笑死我了。

突然发现Vista估计会被小贩们演变为“喂死他”。