Sunday, October 24, 2010

Singapore Day 1 (and 2 because I procrastinate) (and 3 because it's Sunday and I don't have an excuse not to)

Day 1:
Really I'm counting more than 24 hours for day one. I was awake (except for a handful of naps) for about 46 hours. It was a long trip. I left SLC a little before 2:00 PM Wednesday and arrived at my hotel at about noon mountain time on Thursday (2:00 AM Friday Singapore time.

I slept for a couple hours then went in to work Friday. I was exhausted, so I don't know how much help I was that day. Hopefully, I can be more effective tomorrow. When I got back to the hotel I felt like sleeping, but I wanted to stay awake to get over jet lag, so I went exploring. 2 subway stops away from my hotel is Little India.

This temple was a few blocks down the street. I went into it and looked around. I always feel uncomfortable taking pictures in other people's holy buildings, so I didn't take any pictures inside.

Another few blocks down was this mosque. I've been told that they start to glare at American's down in this part to Little India, so I turned around and came back to the Hotel.

Day 2:
Saturday I slept in, or tried to at least. I was exhausted when I finally went to bed and slept like a brick until 6:30. When I woke up, I refused to get out of bed that early on a Saturday morning. Luckily, I was able to go back to sleep until about 8:00.

It has been very hazy here lately. Scratch that, everyone says it is hazy, but it is smog. I think of haze as waking up near a lake in the high Uintahs. This "haze" stinks and burns my lungs. There is no haze about it. According to the news, it hasn't been this bad since 2006. Hopefully it will clear out soon.

I decided to go visit the Merlion statue. Come to find out, there is a very big park and theaters/attractions all around the bay.

Here is the statue.

I think I like it better at night.

There are shallow pools and fountains all over the place. I liked this one because those circles are actually windows to the underground parking.

I had to go down a level and get a picture from there too. It's hard to see the ripples from the water in the picture, but I thought it looked cool. This level also has a pool (but none on the lower levels.

Also nearby is a floating soccer field. I don't think I've ever seen one of those. I hope they don't kick too many balls out of bounds. (Sorry about the focus; my camera has started having focus issues).

This is across the bay. You may ask, "Is that a ship on top of those buildings?" Well, thank you for asking. In fact it is a ship up there. That is the Sands hotel and casino. There is also a shopping mall there. They have some cool stores, like the Harley Davidson Shop and the Ferrari Boutique. They also have several stores with ugly clothes and models who look bored or angry. The store names are like Dior, Gucchi, Chanel. I don't know why anyone would waste their money there.

Also in the mall, there happened to be a performance going on. I was amazed at how realistic the animatronics were. They were very detailed and even changed facial expressions. Then a while later I saw why they were so realistic. The very real ladies climbed off the poles and bowed and announced that they would be back in 2 hours. I got video on my cell phone, but I don't know how good it is, and it will have to wait until I'm back home to upload.

I managed to get in some fishing. OK not really "fishing" but I did reel a rod. When you spin the reels on these poles it generates electricity to illuminate the bulbs.
The last thing I did before heading back to the hotel was catch this outdoor concert of a group from Malaysia doing traditional Malay songs and dances.

This was my view on the way home. I kept looking for a bat symbol, but apparently this isn't Metropolis (or at least there was no need for batman tonight).

Day 3 Sunday:
Today I went in search of the Church. In the one building there are 6 wards that meet. I went to the one that started at 9:00, but I guess that the ward that meets at 1:30 is the expat ward, so I'll probably go there next week. It is a beautiful building.

Also, there are a lot of beautiful flowers. I tried to take some pictures of some yesterday, but the camera didn't focus very well on any of them. Today while I was wandering around I found this "tree" that shows some of the flowers I saw and tried to take pictures of.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


With all the rain our internet radio that sits on our roof has shorted out. I'm posting this from the cell phone, but no house internet means no web browsing, no email, no TV and no house phone. It's amazing what we depend on with a single connection. On a positive note that means that I'm taking a couple minutes to post a couple bug related things that happened today. In church April noticed something on Kayson's head. She picked at it to see what it was and ended up with a headless bug wiggling in her hand. It was headless because it was a tick and the head was lodged in his scalp. Great. The second bug event happened when I was trying to figure out what was happening with our internet connection. I saw a fairly good sized spider with a red hourglass on it. I hate spider despite their markings and this one kept climbing up and down the web when I'd try to go after it. Luckily I had a can of compressed air, so I turned the can upside down and sprayed until it had icicles hanging from it. I knocked it to the ground and smashed it flat. Score 1 me, 0 spiders.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Logan, Logan, Logan

No pictures tonight, but I wanted to throw in a quick story about our nutty son (well one of the three nutty sons). Last week Logan had the flu for a couple of days. It would hit him hardest in the afternoon and evening so he wouldn't feel like eating much lunch or dinner. But after a good night's rest he would wake up very hungry. One morning I was getting ready for work and heard some banging in the kitchen. When I got out there, Logan was sitting in the dark. He had opened the pantry and felt around until he found a can of mushrooms, then he found the can opener in the drawer and was hitting the can with it trying to get it open. What an ingenious goof!

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Beauty

One of the best things about Oregon is the scenery. We woke up before the sun one day to look for shells on the beach. We didn't find many shells, but did get several good pics.

This little waterfall had to make a new path to the ocean every low tide.

Before and after sunrise.

Hopefully it won't take another 9 years for us to get back here.

So, I mentioned this to a few people, but I really am serious. The Welch family needs to plan a big trip somewhere before Landon leaves on his mission. Any ideas on where we should go? Carrie, what types of places will your new husband (with hairy legs) like to go to? Amy suggested Coral Pink; I'm gonna go ahead and nip that one right now. However, a house boat on Lake Powell might be fun (of course it would need really high railings and really high door knobs so us parents with small kids could sleep at night). We could get a beach house on the coast. Or if we saved up all our pennies we could go to Nauvoo. What does everyone think?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Attractions

While in Oregon, we did a bit of sightseeing as well. Here are the kids holding a starfish at the Seaside Aquarium. Trevor held it too, but somehow we didn't get a picture of him at the aquarium.

Another day we went up to Astoria and rode the trolley along the banks of the Columbia river and crossed the Astoria bridge into Washington. We decided to have lunch there in Astoria. Believe it or not, spending a week on the coast, that lunch was the only seafood we had. (It was clam chowder. Does that count as seafood?)

On our way back from Astoria, we stopped at Fort Clatsup. That is where Lewis and Clark built a fort at the end of their journey to the Pacific Ocean. It was a very fun place to visit. Usually these types of historical monuments have a tour through the buildings and you can look in the rooms while standing behind a rope. This one was very hands on. They let the kids try on the clothes and sit on the beds.

The next day we went to Cape Meares Lighthouse. We took pictures one the walk down to the lighthouse, but we forgot to take a picture of the lighthouse itself... Here is what it looks like.

Also near the lighthouse is a huge pine tree called the Octopus Tree. Trevor and I walked to it. The lighting doesn't really do the picture justice, but it is a massive tree. Instead of having 1 trunk it has multiple branches. The information placard says that to survive against the harsh ocean winds, several of its lower branches grew straight out, then turned up.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Beach

I think that our Oregon trip will comprise several posts. So we will start with the beach. We had a lot of fun at the ocean and had great weather all week long (surprising for Oregon). The water was the perfect temperature for little kids. Warm enough that they can play on the beach, but cold enough that they don't want to stay in the water very long or venture out too far. Kayson would have nothing to do with the ocean. He would bring me his bucket and ask me to fill it up for him. I tried to get him to walk out with me a few times, but he wouldn't. I can't say I blame him, but I hope he's not traumatized for life. Audrey enjoyed standing in the water, but would get startled everytime a wave came in if she was sitting. She also consumed more than her recommended daily allowance of sand each day. She would eat the stuff by the fist fulls.

Our beach house was just to the left of this picture. We were very close to a great beach and the house was very nice too. 6 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2 kitchens and 3 family rooms.
Uncle Michael brought a hamster wheel to cruise the beach with.

We made a lot of sand castles and a few kid-castles as well.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Cedar Valley

I know I've said this over and over, but I really love where we live. Midge (our dog) and I and sometimes one of the boys will go out exploring the hills behind our house. The only thing I miss living right up against the west mountains are the sunsets. Luckily, we have a big wide open valley to the east, so if the cloud conditions look like the making of a good sunset, we will go exploring the valley so we can watch the sunset. Unfortunately, default camera settings don't capture good sunsets. One night we had a beautiful sunset and found an old foundation and trees near by. Of course, I forgot the camera so I didn't get any pictures. I went back the next evening and caught another nice sunset, not as vibrant as the night before, but nice none-the-less. My photographer sister got some awesome smokey sunsets So I'd try my luck fiddling with the camera settings.

This first picture is the default camera settings. Doesn't really do justice to anything.

Then I started playing with the f-stop and shutter speeds. These two pictures are the ones I like the best. Of course, I didn't have a tripod, so for the longer exposures, the picture is a little blurry if you zoom in close.

This evening was very overcast and had rained hard earlier, so we went to high ground again. This is looking east over Cedar Valley. Our house is just over the saddle in the middle of the picture.

Of course, our valley isn't all sunsets and views. Midge and I have stumbled across two tarantulas:

I've heard lots of tales of rattle snakes in the area as well. Luckily I haven't run across one of those yet. I hope that if I do, I will notice it from so far away that I have to use the zoom on my camera to get a decent picture of it. A long time ago, there was a lot of mining activity in these hills as well, so every once in a while we run across a CERCLA site warning of dangerous levels of arsenic, lead and mercury:
Maybe it's the chemist in me, but all these signs do is make me curious. No, I haven't given into temptation, and I doubt I ever will, but I'd like to see the tailings piles and understand what is being done to restore the area. (Does anyone know some one who works on one of these sites?)

Friday, July 25, 2008

City of Rocks

After an eventful day at the pool on Thursday, we decided to head to the City of Rocks on Friday.

We found a Logan sized hole. On second thought, we should have taken this picture from the other side. He could have been Whinny the Pooh stuck in Rabbit's hole.

Then we found a Trevor sized hole.

Here's the gang. Kayson was sad in this picture and had been whining most of the day, but for reasons only he knows, right after this picture he perked right up and played happily with his cousins and brothers on the rocks.

Amy has more pictures of the kids and our adventure at her house on her blog here and here.