Monday, October 31, 2005

Melissa and Jon on Halloween. Posted by Picasa

The big flower arrangement for Pilar. For the offering of the flowers on the day of Pilar, everyone gives flowers and they make this huge pyramid right in front of Basilica de Pilar. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Nothing Overly Exciting

Had a mostly boring week sad to say. Did a lot of reading and homework mostly. Melissa signed up for a 5K race in Zaragoza. They give you over an hour to finish the race! Melissa will be seeing people on their first kilometer when she finishes...

My program is going to Barcelona next week to visit the port there and see how incoming shipments from China and other far away places works. Should be interesting and I get to go to Barcelona for the day.

Still trying to work out what I am doing between the 2nd and 7th of January. I have to be at MIT in Boston starting the morning of the 8th. Melissa is going home to Seattle the 4th or so for a month, so I don't know if I should try to work on my thesis or go visit someone.

Speaking of that thesis, right now it looks like I am going to try and model the cost and benefit of improved read ranges in RFID inventory systems. That could still change though.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Pilar Over..

The nine day festivities of Pilar are finally over. Melissa and I can now sleep through the night without being woken up by a brass band at 3am and then again at 6am....

It was lots of fun, so I shouldn't complain too much.

Mel and I are hosting a wine tasting party/competition for my classmates where people have to tell the difference between a good wine and a box wine. I am going to make it pretty hard...
We did this for our friends back when Melissa lived in Bellevue, and only 1 person out of ten got it right.

Beyond that I am still studying hard, but having time for time.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Pilar Update

Well Pilar is in full swing here in Zaragoza. I posted a few pictures of things that have happened so far. The strangest thing so far is the parade of the giant heads. Basically, a bunch of people dress up in costume wearing giant heads. All the kids and their parents walk with them in the parade. The Giant Heads then chase the kids around.... and hit them with huge whips!! They hit parents, young kids, and, their favorite to whip, preteens. They never hit too hard, and it is all in fun. Still they whip the children. It looked almost like a running of the children....

Well also went to a big Ocktober Fest. We misunderstood the schedule and showed up over an hour before it started though. So we were the first ones there, and got to take some good photos.

Besides that we have seen some other interesting things, lots of human statutes, parades of drunk people, random concerts, mini fairs of cheese and chorizo, traditional Aragonese singing and dancing, and lots of small parades of brass bands for various drinking clubs (peña) across the city.

I'll write more about it after it is all over.

Melissa enjoys a very large beer at Ocktoberfest for Pilar. Posted by Picasa

The Giant Heads chase the children at a parade for Pilar. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 06, 2005

A couple of photos

I posted a couple of photos below. They deserve a little more explanation.

First the photo of the Indian head. Our apartment has several rather odd decorations, but this one takes the prize for weirdest. For some reason the very nice people who rent us our apartment (and provided the furniture and decor) are really into native Americans, Japanese culture, clowns, and various nick-nacks from family events. I personally would remove such items from an apartment I was renting....

The photo from the patio is looking northeast. You can't see much, but a sea of rooftops and antennas and the street below. It looks nice at night, which is great since we love hanging out on our patio.

I went to the grand opening of Plaza yesterday. Plaza is the giant logistic park that my school is associated with. Find out more here:

They threw a pretty good party for it. Lots of good food and lots of wine and beer. In the US I can not imagine so many professionals drinking midday on a Wednesday.

The view from our big patio. Posted by Picasa

The lovely decorations that adorn our walls. Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 03, 2005

Pilar plans

Pilar is approaching fast for me. This is the big festival in Zaragoza every year. Most people get three days off for it, and it is suppose to be one big crazy party for an entire week. It starts this Friday, so I will take lots of pictures and have some good stories from that, hopefully.

The weather here has taken a sudden turn for the colder. It is not that the air temperature is that cold, it is still around 20 degrees C, but the wind is now blowing a very constant 10-15 mph. This makes it feel quite cold, I imagine it will get even more so as the air temperature slowly drops.

I will post some pictures, and stories about Melissa and mine very interestingly decorated apartment later this week.