Holiday Work Party + Snowflake Ornaments + Christmas Tree Decorating

We had our Holiday Party at work. It was pretty low keyed, but I like it better that way. We played a game where we were supposed to guess who the person was in the childhood photo. It was pretty difficult, but I got 9 correct out of 17. Afterwards we did our White Elephant Gift Exchange. I ended up scoring four Lundberg Studios glass flower ornaments!

After work, my friends Howie and Bill wanted me to come over to get my Christmas gift. They said that I need to get it "before" Christmas… because I should "use" it before then… so I first met them all including Mikey (who was in town) for dinner at China Gourmet. Afterwards, we went back to their place and hung out. I noticed Mikey also had a nice DSLR camera, we I asked if I can play with it and compare it with mine.

Snowflake OrnamentsHowie and Bill gave me a clay pot bowl. I think it’s one that you can cook asian clay pot dishes in… and they also gave me some beautiful wooden snowflake ornaments, which was similar to some that saw at the Castro that I really liked.

I guess this kinda got me into the holiday spirit… When I got home, I finally decorated the Christmas tree. (This was the latest that I think we ever decorated the tree.) My brother bought it about a week ago, but I just didn’t have time (and help) to being down the ornaments from the attic. My brother brought the stuff down last night and left the indoor decorations in the living room, but nobody likes to decorate the tree, so I usually end up doing it.

I had an idea to take time lapse photos of the tree decorated.

Off to Vacation…

I’m off to a vacation with my three friends Howard, Bill and Dave to Southern California to visit our friend Rachel who is having her Bat Mitzvah.

I started waking up early, but before leaving home, I quickly planted some seeds. I figured that they’ll have a four day heads start if I sowed them now than if I sowed them when I return. I planted Coreopsis ‘ Plains (Bicolor)’, Yu Choy ’50 Days’, Broccolu Raab and Misome into Jiffy Peat Pots… my first time using this medium. I placed them into a propagation tray with a plastic lid (mini-greenhouse) and once I see sprouts, I’ll start hardening them off and bring them outside.

We left the Bay area around 11am and the weather was not bad, but after a hour or so it started pouring rain. At times, I think it was hailing, but most of the time it was sprinkling.

After a few hours driving, we stopped at San Luis Obispo at get some gas and some lunch at Burger King. It’s funny, because I saw a Bottlebrush Bush–I think that’s what they are called–at the Burger King parking lot and upon close examination, found what I think are seeds. So, knowing me, I collected some…

We continued driving and the weather got better. We drove on 101 because we heard that Interstate 5 required chains because of snow. The drive is longer, but I must say the views are nice, especially once we got to the Ventura/Channel Island area. We could see the Pacific Ocean and it was beautiful.

Some things I observed on the road was that there were lots of wild Prickly Pear Cactus and Agave along the freeway. There were also many Orange Orchards and I think we past by a place called Monrovia. I don’t know if that’s where the plant grower Monrovia is located, but I did see a lot of greenhouses and plant growers along the highway.

We encountered the evening commute around the LA area, so we were in stop and go traffic and it was bad. I was driving at this point and I hated it. My hands were sweating since it was stressing me out just a bit. We finally reached our destination around 9 or 10pm, checked into our hotel room then grabbed a bite to eat. Afterwards, we headed to bed and I checked my email, updated my Facebook and all that stuff.

WonderCon + More Seedlings

I spent the day (Saturday) in San Francisco with my friend Howie and we went to Comic-Con International’s WonderCon in the new Moscone Center West. There were all types of comics, sci-fi stuff (Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, etc.), anime, video and toys. I bought a couple of toys which I’ll bring to work and use for ideas for the garden. I’ll post photos and explain my ideas later.

When I got home, I found that two more seedlings have emerged:

– Coleus ‘Tilt-A-Whirl’
– Eggplant ‘Scarlet Chinese’

Cactus Book…

One of the gifts I received from Christmas was “Cactus: The Most Beautiful Species and Their Care” by Elisabeth Manke. Thanks Howie :)

Older Photos…

I was going through older photos in my iPhoto library and found two that I took at my friend, Howard’s, old apartment. These were taken on March 2001.

Yellow Oxalis
Yellow Oxalis

I use to call these Clovers, but recently discovered that they are actually Oxalis. They grow as weeds in San Francisco and I read that they are hard to get rid of. One of my friend, Dave, told me that as a child he use to pick the long flower stems and suck on them. I tried it and surprised to find it very tangy like a lemon.