Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy New Year

Its a day or so early but I imagine I may not make it back to the computer in the next day or two. Alaska has been great. I haven't had to work much at all although I have put off some things that need handling before I return to California.
We have gotten more snow which has been nice and the nephews went skating the other day at the lagoon near my mom's house which was hilarious to watch. My older nephew got cross-checked by a girl about 3 years older than him playing hockey and my younger nephew did his best not to crack his helmet open while walking across the ice on his skates.
No substantial plans for the New Years celebration at this point. I imagine we will have an adult beverage and keep it relatively quiet. The Anchorage nightlife scene has become extremely highschool oriented. I'm getting old and young people are getting obnoxious.
Off for a walk with Kia's mom here shortly. Darjeeling Limited is playing at the local brewhouse theater so we are going to try and check that out at some point. I also want to see No Country for Old Men. These both beat Jay Chou movies... sorry Kun.
OK my mom is playing Kenny G or something I need to make her stop before I go ape-shit.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Cash Money Y'all

I played Monopoly with my nephew yesterday and built some high-rise hotels on Baltic/Mediterranean/Oriental/Vermont and Connecticut. Because my nephew is 6 he got the family rate on my luxury suites - $6 - Kia paid full price.... I lost.
Alaska is wintery. The snow is not so deep but it is cold and beautiful. Christmas is in full swing which basically means we are consuming large quantities of cookies and candy. We (Kia) finished most of the holiday shopping before we left so we were in good shape when we got here to just hang out.
At lunch the other day Sara expressed her concern that on my return to the states the blogging epic that is my blog would cease. Fear not. I will continue to write inane garbage on a semi-regular basis. I took some pictures here and will upload them shortly.
All-in-all things are good. Kia and I are sore from battling at Wii boxing and we are headed out for one of the many Christmas households we will participate in this year shortly.
I hope this post finds everyone well and you are all enjoying a bountiful Kwanzaa.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Country Rooooad... Take Me Hooooome...

OK, getting in the taxi for the airport in like 15 min. Printed out my ticket and said my tenth goodbyes - there will likely be one more. I am pumped to get home and down on leaving. Mostly because of the friends I have made here. I guess its a good thing to know that you will miss people rather than be happy to be leaving them. I owe a great deal to the people I have met here and those folks who have made me feel at home in a country which is so different from my own.
Off to the airport. I am going to make some of the team drink some Beijing liquor on my way out. Bad management....
See some of you soon, and some of you a little later....

Monday, December 10, 2007

I Can Be Sentimental AND Gangsta Right?

Here is the slideshow I pulled together for the team here in Beijing. It was too long to upload to youtube (10 min max) and the file was enormous. I used iMovie to make the slideshow because I was suckered in by coworkers who convinced me that it was the easiest way to build the movie. I think Windows MovieMaker would have probably been just as easy.
Only a couple more days here in Beijing. Very bittersweet. Excited to get home and spend time in AK over the holidays. Also going to miss a lot of things and people around here.
Lots to do before I leave. I may need to purchase another bag to haul home all of my crap. I also have to deal with my spectacular hotel and check out of that place (praise Jesus).
Enjoy the slideshow.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Analytics and Adwords

Boring topics maybe. I thought I would toss out some site stats. Kunan has been known to claim that the only person who reads my blog is my father (this may be true depending on your definition of "reads") but good ol' Google Analytics has a little different story to tell....

Since the beginning of my blog:
  • I have had 1,420 pageviews.
  • Visitors have averaged 1.48 pages per visit.
  • Average time per visit is 2:16
  • I have had 958 visits.
  • I have had 234 absolute unique visitors (probably based on IP).
  • 88.83% of my visitors visited using FireFox.
  • 83% of my visits have come directly to my site (not via another site)
  • 6% have come through my AdWords ads
  • 2% have come from Sara's blog
  • Top referring queries from Google ("matt lewis", "harry potter sucks", "", '"its the wysz son"')
  • Referrals have also come from Matt D.'s blog - who knew he had a blog? - and Nate's.
  • Top day for visits was Oct. 31st 2007 - I got 18 that day.
Yeah fine, that's kind of boring. So what, get off your high horse.
Oh yeah, and for those of you who don't know, I have purchased some AdWords ads on a few different keywords so if you forget the web address (really you should have my blog bookmarked) you can do a quick search like this and find some hilariously clever advertisements. Do yourself a favor and refresh the search results page to check out the ad variations.
Work is kind of ape right now. Only four more work days before I get on a plane. I have to do things like pack, check out of my apartment, clean my desk, blah blah blah. It almost just seems easier to stay. Then again.... Getting pumped to get back to AK for the holidays and see folks. I made a photo slideshow for my departure to play for the team. I will share it if I can ever get it to fully upload. My video compression skills are lacking.
Word 'em up.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Last One, I Swear

Good weekend in Beijing. Went out for Malaysian food on Friday to a little hutong (local) neighborhood. Food and company were good. Saturday was spent doing some shopping at some local malls. It was kind of cool going to the malls where there were no tourists. I realized though that things are just more expensive here in Beijing. Clothes, anything that even resembles a name brand, are roughly 20-30% more expensive than in the states and people will buy anything with a recognizable logo. Name brands are practically a national past time. Case in point on this is the prevalence of Playboy merchandise. On everyone. Grandmas, wearing Playboy shoes. Oh, and when did Pepsi start selling sneakers?
Whew, OK, photos of Tibet. The first couple are of pilgrims walking their route around the Jokhang. The outfits were totally awesome and the hair decorations on the women were pretty amazing.

This was the day we went to the Potala palace. It was the former residence of the Dalai Lama and there are a number of tombs of former Dalai Lamas there.

More pilgrims and decorations.

Some parting shots.

Thats it. I have more photos of Tibet but they will end up in the picasaweb album at some point not here. Sorry, I got a little obsessive with posting these.
Sunday (today) was pretty good too. I had to get up early for a basketball game. We played another company here in Beijing and won a squeaker. After flipping the lead for the majority of the fourth quarter we were up by one point with a few seconds to go. The other team fouled on the inbound and sent Allan to the line. He hit one of two and they couldn't get the ball inbounds and a shot off quick enough to contest the win. It was pretty exciting.
Going to bed early. I am putting off some work I have to do but hey, what are they going to do, deport me?