Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving from us 2008

What are you thankful for?

In honor of Thanksgiving, I'd love to know what you are thankful for this year. Something we always did at Thanksgiving meals was go around the table and say one thing for which each of us was thankful. I'll miss being able to do that this year (with more than just the four of us), so please humor me and leave a comment with what you are thankful for. I'll tell you what I'm thankful for in a different post.

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Did you realize Thanksgiving is an American holiday that's not celebrated around the world? It is probably obvious to most, given the historical origins of the day, but it took me a while living here before I realized that Thanksgiving was not something with which most people here are familiar.

[Sidenote: I understand Canada celebrates their own version of Thanksgiving sometime in Oct., I think. I wonder if there are any other countries?]

Since Thanksgiving is not an official holiday here, the kids are in school and Gander is at work. No days off. No extra time to sit around gorging ourselves on way too much food then watching football (or sleeping through football, as the case may be) for us this year. [Actually, no American football for us at all. Gander has to settle for online updates and news articles to keep up with the sport. Now there's something I can be thankful for! ;-) ]

Since today (yes, it's Thursday here already) is still a school night and a work night, I decided it was too difficult for me to plan a Thanksgiving meal for tonight. I am going to shoot for at least a mini feast this weekend. Of course I still need to find a turkey. I know I can buy one here, I just haven't found one yet. I also need a good pumpkin pie recipe. Anyone care to share?

Be back in a bit to write a post on what I'm thankful for.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Look what GG did while Gander was away

I thought someone might get a laugh out what GG and I did with our time this past weekend while Gander was in Australia. Elly was playing with us, too, but she didn't really help with the things in the photos.

Exhibit A:
Create a disguise for a vicious dinosaur so that it could successfully trick the unsuspecting Little People into coming close enough so it could eat them.

Pretty convincing, don't you think? No?!? I doubt you can see the tape over the poor dino's top teeth but GG thought that taping the teeth made them look less sharp. Of course, the dress is easy to understand... the dino is trying to look like a friendly, grandmother type (you know - like the big, bad wolf did in Little Red Riding Hood). You may be wondering about the slide. Well, that was an attempt to hide the dino's tail. At first we tried extending the length of the back of the dress (like a train on a wedding dress) using a facial tissue but GG didn't like the way it looked. She opted for the "look-like-a-playground" trick.

Those poor Little People. They never saw it coming!

Exhibit B:
This one was an entirely independent project completed by GG. She made wings for her horse and then posed it for a photo shoot, with a total of 25 different shots. (Thank goodness for digital cameras!) I'll spare you from all 25 pictures and just share 2.

I have to admit - I think GG did a great job on those wings. She taped them onto the horse's back by herself and everything.

On a totally serious note: I LOVE that GG is so creative and thinks these type of things up on her own. As annoying as it can sometimes be that she always wants to save empty tissue boxes, toilet paper and paper towel rolls, and other odds and ends (so she can make things out of them), she really has an amazing creative gift.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

We're still alive... just not well

Sorry for disappearing for the last 3 weeks. I'm not sure where all my time goes and what has been keeping me so busy but, trust me, I've been busy. I'd love to say I've been sitting around, eating bon-bons but I haven't.

Since more than 1 month ago, when we got that horrible bout of the flu, I haven't been fully well. I had, yet another cold, recently and am finally feeling functional. I've still got a cough but that's about it. GG is dealing with asthma, coughing, phlegm and more. Elly is feeling fine but I hear her coughing sometimes so I know she's not in perfect health yet. Gander's the only one that seems to feel healthy. He's just worn out from his most recent trip - 3 days in Australia, working early morning to late night.

Anyways... all that just to post a quick note to anyone who wonders what happened to us -- we are all alive, just not all well.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Singapore Gooseman's Travels

Shanghai Traffic - VERY BAD! We had a green light, but green and red lights don't mean much...I guess the color just looks pretty...

Hey everyone!!!! It's the Singapore Gooseman here.... and NO, I am not telling you (7) things about me like my wife did :) I'm grounded for a couple of weeks before I head 'down unda' again for a short business trip. However, I just got back in town from Shanghai and Hong Kong. I was in down town Shanghai VERY quickly - took the speed train from the airport traveling @ 431 KM/Hr - for you Americans, this is about 200 MPH!!! It was AWESOME!! The train does NOT even ride on a track, but floats if you will with powerful magnets - the ride is very smooth and very fast. (VIDEO below)

Shanghai downtown area was really nice; it's clear that the gov't has invested quite a bit of $$ for this city. However, when you get out of town, it's quite clear that China's people are very poor and the cities are dismal at best. No color on the buildings, lots of dust, horrible pollution, bad roads, and bad traffic. HOWEVER, these people, who have very little, are very friendly and smile when you smile at them - that's pretty cool if you ask me.... I spent time with my team there every day and shared every meal with them; I thought I liked Chinese food, but Chinese food in Shanghai is VERY different that in Southern California!!! Shanghai does not have 'Kung Pao Beef' or 'Orange Chicken' like we're used to... They have Crab Eggs, King Snake, Fish Head & Prawn Heads that are eaten whole, etc, etc....I can tell you that I tried EVERYTHING out of respect for them - but was honest about what I did and did not like... All I can tell you is that I can't wait to eat more KING SNAKE!!! It was awesome - tastes like pork ribs, however, these have LOTS of little ribs that you have to dig the meat out of.... :)



Crab eggs - eating from under-belly of crab near the stomach....

I insisted that we eat 'American Food' one of the nights I was there - so we ate @ Lawry's Prime Rib!!! They just opened one in Shanghai and it was AWESOME!!! My colleague, Leslie (he's a guy), ate EVERYTHING and loved it!!! If you haven't been there, you should check it out!!! After a few days I was off to Hong Kong...what a city!!! This is the most beautiful city by FAR that I have ever been in. Yes, I know there are lots of cities in Europe that have beautiful architectural design, but this is a modern city with lots of high rise buildings and at night, it's a site for sore eyes. Not only does the city glimmer and shine, it has WONDERFUL cuisine and fine hotels right on the water - they have one of my favorite places - MORTON'S!!! :) Anyways, there are LOTS of people walking around town at night and it's a lot of fun... I must have had at least 30 guys walk up to me asking if I wanted to buy a watch or if I wanted a custom tailored suit - everyone in this town is a salesman!! :) OK, I'll stop now - enjoy the pics and video's of China and Hong Kong. (Missing EVERYONE TERRIBLY - BUT, be diligently ready at anytime for the big, heavy smack on your back from an old friend when you least expect it AND for the shaking front door when I pretend to break it down...)

P.S. Keep an eye out for our family Christmas video on our blog.... we'll be singing a X-mas carol or two :)

Floating billboard in Shanghai...

Hong Kong @ Night

This is an actual HUGE sitting area for people to just relax and enjoy the beautiful view of downtown HK.

Jackie Chan Star on HK walkway next to ocean boardwalk...

Bruce Lee's Star!

Bruce Lee Statue and HK skyline in background..