I’m back yet again from another business trip to China (sadly, not in business class). Even though I’m just two months in to my Chinese lessons, I found that little bit of knowledge of the language made a huge difference. I was able to understand quite a few words in conversations, and just being able to say “I have four people in my family: my dad, mom and a younger brother named Matt” showed I was making an effort. In many ways, communication with folks there went better than ever.

In other ways, communication went horribly, horribly awry. To say they weren’t prepared for our visit (even though it’d been on the calendar for months) would be an understatement. Lots of things went wrong that really shouldn’t have, and it was quite a frustrating trip. But, I’m led to believe by my colleagues, this is pretty much par for the course. So I learned a lot about getting things made in China.

And I got some things made when I got back, too. Over this Memorial Day weekend, I built a new home for our turkeys. Check it out here. Still some work to be done to house them outside (they’re living in the basement, now free of predatory cat, who sadly claimed a few turkey lives before revealing itself), but lots of progress made this weekend.

And yesterday, a few friends and I headed out I-90 to hike along the Yakima Skyline Trail. We did about 7 or 8 miles along a beautiful high-desert ridge, surrounded by wildflowers, horned lizards, and gorgeous views. I took some pictures, but my camera sensor (or lens?) was pretty dirty, so I’m not sure how well they’ll come out.

Months ago, I was invited to what promised to be a lovely wedding this Memorial Day weekend, but I was feeling traveled out even then, with quite a few international trips to go, so I declined. Sad as I was to watch the tweets go by from the ceremony and ensuing party, I think I made the right decision to stay in town, recover from China (mentally and physically), and enjoy Seattle at its finest. All the same, congrats Whit & Claire!

posted May 22, 2009 – 11:35 am
Old News
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