Once again the Eide clan took the annual pilgrimage to Big White Ski Resort for Presidents Day weekend. We missed Zachary and Kelsea this year as they are in Colorado and Hawaii, respectively. The weather was very clear and the snow conditions were good for the most part. We spent much of the time on the slopes getting our passports stamps on different runs. Every year the resort puts on a 'cruz the blues' activity where you can see how many intermediate slopes (blues) that you can ski in the weekend. There are about 35 blue runs in the resort. It is somewhat like a treasure hunt. The whole group got into the game. We even took a passport for the non-skiier. Bjorn got the most for our group with 30 stamps. At the end of the weekend, there is a party and they give everyone Tshirts and door prizes. The activity gives some direcction to the days on the slopes. In the evenings, we ate, talked, played games and watched movies.
In the last twenty years, I have purchased a lot of computers. I won't tell you how many, lest you question my frugality. Every one of these computers has been an Apple Macintosh -- until now! I was hoping that Apple would complete their line of laptops with an inexpensive subcompact laptop. Instead, they put their energy into yet another high priced sleekingly thin MacBook Air. Meanwhile, several other companies have been producing small entry level laptops. I am lured to a small inexpensive laptop because of its extreme portability and its potential use in the classroom. I was tempted by OLPC 'One Laptop Per Child' but its operating system didn't seem to be too versatile. After a little research, I decided on the Eee PC. It is made by ASUS, and runs a version of the Linux operating system. (Free open source) It is a full functioning computer complete with wireless internet, the ability to view movies and videos, email, skype, etc. All this in a 2 lb. package the size of a medium size book and the price of an iPod Touch. The computer comes with some basic education and office software. I have already been using it in the classroom. Now I just have to find someone who wants to donate a dozen to our classroom! I really think Apple missed the mark in not joining the market.
We met Bjorn and Jenny in Lynnwood, and Markus joined us as well. Jenny's car bit the dust and they are looking for something to replace it with. We celebrated Bjorn's birthday, which is actually on Tuesday. It was our first time at the Macaroni Grill. Jenny took my truck home to use until they can find something.
We spent the day yesterday with longtime friend Kevin Waiters and his wife Martha. Kevin attended both college and seminary with me, and since he lives in Tacoma, we keep in touch as the years go by. Kevin and Martha are Renoir fans and invited us to join them at the Renoir exhibit in the Tacoma Art Museum. It was good for this old country couple from kitsap to get some culture. The exhibit focused on the artist's printmaking work which was very interesting. After the museum, we enjoyed dinner and conversation at the Point Defiance Anthony's.