Random Shots Of Shanghai

Here are some more serious pictures I took while in Shanghai. OK maybe not more serious but I do not have as much verbiage associated with them.

Here are some pictures from the fore-mentioned gardens.

This picture was kind of hard to get and almost got me in trouble. There was a group of PLA officers in the garden with us. I followed them surreptitiously or as surreptitiously as possible for a 6'6" white guy in China looking for some interesting pictures. They took their hats of and left them like this as they wandered away. I quickly took many photos until they noticed and hurried back. I lamely played it off as taking pictures of the lake behind and they decided not to press the issue.

A random street scene.

A random subway scene, you know I need at least one.

The Coolest City In China

When I was in China I went to visit Shanghai a couple of times. I determined that if I were ever to live in China for an extended period of time I would like to live there. It is the largest city in China and feels a lot like NYC or Paris or with just enough randomness to remind you that you are in China.

This post is dedicated to those two feelings.

Shanghai is a newer city than Beijing with a little less history so you do not have quite as many tourist opportunities of the "let's see random temples or districts" type. One of the main places is the gardens in the middle of the city. Because it is one of the few tourist traps the vendors really flock to it. One such vendor was of the tea variety, the large tea variety.

There were those who did not need any stinking storefront to hawk their wares. All they needed was a van blasting shitty pop music to the point where you could not hear what they were actually trying to sell.

There was the most useless fire hydrant I have ever seen. How would you get to this? Not only is it embedded in the sidewalk which I am assuming came along later but there is no road near this.

There also was a restaurant I wanted to try but was not open. I heard the food was out of this world.

Since the gardens are in the middle of the city, they were a walkable attraction and we saw many interesting things on the walk there. Like a pimp in a purple fur coat. I thought I was back in the D for a second.

Or a very large statue of a baby. A lounging baby at that, just chillin'.

We also saw an ad for a camera ideally suited to taking pictures of livestock. Specifically goats. As evidenced by the little goat in the display on the camera.

Another interesting thing was the traffic. I thought Beijing had deadened me to bad traffic. I mean I had grown accustomed to cars going in reverse on the freeway and people driving on the sidewalk. The traffic in Shanghai was worse. Bikes formed little gangs and sat in lanes until there was a break or a car stopped so that they could spread over another lane. It was something to see in action, the picture leaves it kind of flat.

We also stopped at a crazy random animal market. It was almost as cool as the one in Beijing. Most of the pictures did not turn out but the one of a puppy in a trash can did. Yes you read that right. Someone had thrown a live seemingly healthy puppy away. We made enough of a scene so that someone yelled at the nearest puppy vendor (A likely culprit) who took the puppy out of the trashcan and put it back into a cage for at least the time we remained in sight.

After my awesome trips I always took the maglev train to the airport. It is the fastest train in the world and goes a top speed of 431 kph from outside Shanghai to the airport. It takes 8 minutes for what would otherwise be a 45 minute cab ride. They have put something on the windows to distort things in order to reduce the appearance of speed. The only time you get a real clue to how fast you are going is when the train going the other way passes. All in all a highly recommended method of travel.

You get there from the subway where I had the privilege of watching this woman throw up for at least 65 seconds while the train was waiting for passengers. I had time to open my bag, pull out my camera, and snap a few pictures. She was throwing up when I left. Public vomiting is AWESOME!

Here is the train at a stop when we got on.

Here it is at top speed only 4 minutes later.

And here it is back at zero 4 minutes later.


Jesus Had A Taco Stand?

While on the cruise I had a chance to take some photos that I liked for whatever reason. You know the drill by now. Less story but liked for whatever reason.

Here is a aircraft carrier in San Diego that was massive. It contained a museum which was pretty cool I heard and very faithful to what life was like on one according to people who had spent some time on carriers.

Here was a cinema in Mexico

And Jesus' taco stand


A Cruise With No Outbreak Of Any Horrible Stomach Diseases

Last summer I went on a cruise with my family for a reunion of sorts on my momses side. I had never been on a cruise and it ended up being a really good time. I love spending time with my family and it was cool meeting some members of the family that I had not before. The cabins were not really made for someone of my size but I managed to survive. We were on the boat for 5 days, two of which were in the LA port. The other places we saw were San Diego, the Catalina islands and somewhere in Mexico.

On the first day there was a lot of logistics. What to do if the ship starts sinking and what not. We of course took all this very seriously as evidenced by the demeanor of my family here.

After a heavy day of learning how to get on and off lifeboats and what "Women and children first" really means we were greeted on our return to our rooms by the first of many incredibly cute towel animals.

Dinner was always promptly at 6 which worked well for my family's eating schedule. We always managed to have a great time at dinner.

Look at the smiles on those faces, even on my Aunt Barb's and my Grandma's

There was one formal dinner event which was fun as everyone brought something nice and we all got to get dressed up (Except for the matriarchs whom have won that privilege through putting up with the rest of us for so long).

The Catalina islands proved to be really pleasant and surprisingly patriotic.

They are just a really nice little resort town with really cool beaches. They also had a area that you could go scuba diving in and see a ton of interesting animals. I had neither goggles or breathing apparatus but i made due. Mostly I saw random blobs of bright color while underwater but they were colors you don't see that much.

From there we went to Mexico and I picked up the best purchase of the year. Yes I got the mask and proceeded to where it around Mexico and the boat for the rest of the trip. I still take it out occasionally in Seattle and guarantee that you will see some of those pictures soon.

When we got back to LA we had one last family dinner in LAX where we watched a 3 year old crush her mother's sushi into the ground and then shovel it all into her mouth while her mom was in the bathroom. If I ever have children I plan on making a no traveling with them by myself rule to try to avoid this situation.

I thought I would leave you with the sexiest photo I have ever seen.


The Small One Visits

These are all from last summer when my little sister visited. It was great having her out even if she never showers. Hopefully she will be able to come see the new place some time.

Here is me teaching her and Yachi some fashion sense in the space needle gift shop. As everyone knows I have the best fashion sense of anyone in Seattle or perhaps the US.

Here is a pic of her and I on top of the needle looking cool as can be.

This is why I needed to teach her some fashion sense.

Serious Lauren.

And a cool picture taken in Westlake center


Climbing Mount Rainer With No Gear And Three Babies

Last summer a bunch of people from work went to Mt. Rainer in the hopes of conquering the summit. Here is the fateful group.

As you can see though there were many babies and we were not entirely prepared for the rigors of a quick ascent. We fell back on plan B which was a 2 mile walk around the easy parts of the path.

It turned out to be a lot of fun and the scenery was pretty incredible as well.

Here is a nice picture of Yachi and myself among said scenery.

We even got to see some deer licking their butts among other wild lives.

On the way there I saw what might be the most ironic singles organization ever which is saying a lot. Enumclaw has had its share of issues recently which is what made this so funny to me.

At the restaurant on the way back Miao decided to switch careers into construction.

Here is probably my favorite random picture from the adventure.


Crabs, Trolls And Popos

Since I am going back through and posting a bunch of old photos, I thought I would add a lot of random things I had saved off.

Here are a couple of photos I took last summer when I was showing some people from China around Seattle.

We had dinner at the crab pot which is a restaurant in Bellevue. This is the same place where they asked what there was to see in Bellevue. I, of course, made the reasonable response which was nothing. All the tables in ear distance gave me dirty looks but could not come up with any areas to see. I win.

We also went to see the Fremont troll. They decided to climb up to the top of the troll's head which made me a little nervous. International incident kept running through my head along with pictures of them sliding down the front of the troll.

We even managed to hit up Gasworks and see a boat get pulled over by a cop boat. Weirdly reminiscent of Arrested Development.

It was fun showing them around and I hope they enjoyed themselves as much as I did.


Random Shots In Tokyo

You saw the pictures with a story now I am just going to post the pictures I liked for some reason (probably without much story).

This might be my favorite. There were vending machines in every nook and cranny but this one at the end of the alley seemed so forlorn.

Lonely vending machine:

The sumo arena:

This was taken across the street from our hotel. Although we had some friction with the hotel people it was in a fantastic location.

Shinjuku street scene:

This was in the electronics district mentioned previously.

Train and bridge:

I have to take a list one shot of the subway:

From our hotel window:


An umbrella holder:

A human mass:

My other favorite photo of a mother and her kids.