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Making Extra Passport Photos

By: leelefever on November 21, 2005 - 9:33pm

We've read that it's smart to take extra passport photos on a trip around the world, mainly because visas often require photos and having them with you can be a way to save time and money.  So, tonight we made our own passport photos. 

If you're going to make passport photos, it's important to know about the government guidelines.  This page is very helpful.  Here is a good tutorial too.

 As you can see on the left we had problem with light, or lack thereof, but in the end we were able to print them on photo paper on our home printer.

We're taking 24 pictures each, which should last us for a while.  Also, you might remember to save the file that contains the photos in an accessible place on the Web while you're on the road. 

 


A Year of Planning in a Couple of Months

By: leelefever on November 20, 2005 - 11:09am

We’re keeping a very long to-do list (actually, a ta-da list) and something that became clear to me this morning.  Throughout a year, you have to do a lot of things.  Taxes, yard work, car care, healthcare, dog care, etc. etc. etc.  Over the course of a year, these things get sprinkled over weekends and bursts of productivity. It's manageable.

What we’re finding now, is that all of these things are being compressed into the weeks and months before we leave. The to-do list is full of things that don’t need to be done today, but will need to be done in the next year. 

An example is yard work.  We love our garden and spend a significant amount of time keeping it up.  While Mark (Sachi’s bro who is living in our house) will do a LOT, we don’t expect him to tend the plants. So, this weekend is all about pruning, seeding, fertilizing and mulching for the next year.  While the garden would survive over the year, we want the peace of mind knowing that we did what we could to save the plants for our return.


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Boat Drinks

By: leelefever on November 18, 2005 - 9:37pm

I think we're getting a little stir crazy.  We have 23 days before we leave and the monetorium is in full effect, so we're not going out.  Sachi mentioned that we got a handy-dandy blender for our wedding and have some rum in the cabinet.  So, we decided to make it a dark Seattle November Friday night at home- with Boat Drinks.

 

 Everything we know about Boat Drinks, we learned from Stephen Gwyn's Boat Drinks page.

 

Boat drinks are drinks that are drunk on a boat. Or near a boat. Or while wishing you were on a boat. Or near someone who is wishing they were on a boat. They tend to be colourful, sometimes too colourful. They tend to have fruit in them. The tend to taste almost, but not quite, booze-less and they tend to pack a hidden wallop.

As a general (but not infallible) rule boat drinks have two main ingredients:  Rum and A paper umbrella.

We call tonight "practice", sans paper umbrellas.


To Minimize or Maximize

By: leelefever on November 15, 2005 - 9:27pm

People have asked a lot what it feels like a month before this all begins.  We’ve been thinking about that too.  What does it feel like?

There are different ways to look at the situation over the next few weeks.  We could begin to wean ourselves from our daily rituals and work to ease the transition through practice.  We could minimize and prepare.

Or, we could live life trying to take advantage of every minute of our blissful domestic existence.  We could maximize and take it all in.

Our dog Amos is one example with an easy answer.  If we minimized, we could start to disengage a bit and try to get ourselves prepared for missing him.  That’s not too doable, so we’re going for the full-on maximizing- trying to take advantage of every minute.  He is more spoiled all the time.

Knowing that our food choices will be limited and we will long for the comfort of our home choices of food, we’re faced with a similar decision.  We could start experimenting with more healthy and practical options, minimizing our normal diet in preparation. Or, we could gorge ourselves on the food, meals and places we love and hope that it will help us appreciate their existence.  The way it’s looking so far, we’re appreciating the existence of a lot of home comforts, but not gorging, per se.

We’ve been thinking about Seattle (and the surrounding area) and how we can make it part of the trip by taking a look at it as a tourist would.  I’d love to maximize Seattle before we leave, but minimizing would save money and make more time for preparation.

Just tonight I was buying milk and remembered learning that people often miss having milk on long international trips.  I considered maximizing and going for the whole milk, but reconsidered and stuck with the 1%.

We could start to let go of our media habits by minimizing TV consumption and non-productive computer time. Or, we could take advantage of the media access and veg out with the TiVo while we can. 

It’s all about philosophy I suppose.  I think we’ll have a healthy mix of minimizing and maximizing with a leaning on the maximizing side.  It may make the transition a bit more harsh, but we’ll have peace of mind that we considered it and did what we wanted.


Leaving the Dog

By: leelefever on October 15, 2005 - 8:06am

You know, I'm not concerned with a lot about the trip. We've learned a lot so far, prepared well, set our expectations, etc.  I think we'll leave with as much confidence as I have as possible for a trip like this.

However, our dog Amos is on both of our minds a lot these days.  He's 11 years old and slowing down a lot. He'll be staying home with Mark, Sachi's brother, who is living in our house and there is no one we'd rather leave Amos with than Mark. He'll be happy here.

The problem is us.  Already, I dread leaving that mutt and I'm sure Sachi does too.  As he's gotten to be an old man, he's gotten even sweeter and Sachi makes sure that he is spoiled every minute he can be spoiled, including being covered with a blanket when he lays down.

We're facing not being a part of one of his last years, and that's quite sad for us.  We have all the faith he'll be around when we return, but the thought of him not being here is almost too much to bear.  The last thing we want is for our goodbyes in a couple of months to be the last.

Alas, we know he's doing well now and will be very well cared-for while we're gone, in his own bed (and maybe Mark's sometimes).  As we reminded ourselves last night, he is a dog and not a human and we shouldn't assign human emotions and rationality to him- we hope that he doesn't even realize how long we're gone and when we come back it'll be like we went on a really, really long trip to the store.

 

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Still a Little Stealthy

By: leelefever on September 13, 2005 - 9:31am

You might notice the site switching back and forth between the new and old versions of the design. The new design is about 80% done, so there are some things that still need to be worked out and we're working through that now.

It's kind of a weird space to operate.  It's all publicly viewable right now, but I really don't want it linked-to yet. In a week or two, the design will be stable and a couple of the key features/designs will be in-place.  My goal is to have it ready for prime-time by Oct. 1st, which should shouldn't be a problem from what I'm hearing.

Once it's ready, I hope to start talking about it a lot and hopefully building a little buzz so that we can get people to register and share their experiences.  

I'll be talking a lot about it on http://www.commoncraft.com once I think it's ready.

This is so fun and exciting.  I totally get off on getting this ready and thinking about how it will work or what might happen. I can hardly wait.  

 

 


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