Tuesday, December 26, 2006


I went snow-boarding on Christmas Eve and had an awesome time! Nan-shan park is not very big, and the more experienced skiers said that the runs were nothing like Colorado, California, and New Mexico, but they were definately more than I, a first timer, could handle. Like I said, I had a blast, but my body has not been this banged-up since my highschool football days... and it hurts to sit down. Here are some pictures from the trip:

Santa Clause is Coming...

Here I am shaking hands with our very festive and beloved project manager, Lynn Manks. The company treated us to beer and pizza at the end of our last day of work before Christmas.

I made another trip to the Temple of Heaven last weekend with Rahman, Rett, and Jason. This one was a little bit less chill than my last trip; it was as low as 25 degrees outside, half of us didn’t dress appropriately, and we all wanted to be finished before the sun went down and it got REALLY cold.

I took fewer pictures, but I like more of them, I think after three years of taking digital pictures I am finally getting over my photomania and am getting a higher percentage of good shots.

The Echo Wall was open this time; it was under construction for most of the fall. The structure itself was not as visually impressife as the Harvest Temple, but the Echo wall itself was pretty sweet. The chinese built this perfectly circular wall out of acoustic stones which can funnel a normal speaking voice from one side to the other. Two people twenty yards apart can have a normal conversation as if they are standing right beside each other. Of course, when unabashed tourists start shouting “Niii – Haaao!!!” at each other, it kinda ruins the experience for everyone.

On a lighter note, the gargoyle statue inspired a touristy-goofyness in us, the results of which are as follows:

It is not wise to feed or to tease the Chinese gargoyles; they might get angry

If you do have an angry gargoyle on your hands, don't back down.

"No Burning" is permitted within the temple grounds or...

You just might have an angry human on your hands, and he's more dangerous than the gargoyle.

: )

Still having fun over here,

News Boys Concert!

The News Boys came through Beijing on their Asian Believers tour. “Shine” and “Breakfast in Hell” took me back to my middle school days, and there were some new songs that I really liked.

The Crowd

The Crew

Sunday, December 10, 2006


No not me. Our friend Stephen Potter proposed to his girlfriend/fiancee when she came to Beijing this Thanksgiving. He proposed on top of the bell tower overlooking the forbidden city right before they met up with their parents at the great wall (She said yes, kissed him, etc.) Last week we, the bachelors, celebrated by treating Steve (middle-left wearing a white shirt) to dinner at Pete's Tex -Mex. Cheers!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Here are just a few more random Hong Kong pictures, but this time, I'll leave their explainations to your imagination. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Welcome to Paradise

My third full day in Hong Kong was spent on the island of Lantau in the New Territories of Hong Kong. Lantau is maybe three times the size of Honk Kong Island with less than 1/300th the population. This island is one gorgeous collage of beautiful beaches and imposing mountains. I could have spent a month here just hiking the mountain trails and lounging on beaches.

I have spent too much time in the big city, it was really really good - physically, mentally, and spiritually - to breathe the fresh air and stretch my legs again. That, and I love the humidity! After living in Beijing, which is on the brink of the Gobi desert, this native Houstonian was happy to visit a place where I don't have to apply lotion and chapstick three times a day! God has placed us in a world with many many beautiful places. Beijing city just isn't one of these.

These first pictures are of a tiny fishing village - a quaint, beautiful place in the middle of nowhere. This place and its people are so down to earth, completely opposite of busy Hong Kong and a very hectic Beijing. No cars, no flashing city lights, no high-rise condos (unless you count those houses on stilts.) There is definitely something to be said for a simpler life.

The mountains were gorgeous, I don't have the words to describe how beautiful this island is - we rode a cab along the mountain ridge and every new cloudy peak, every new white-sand lagoon triggered shivers of excitement along my spine. This picture to the left was taken from the big Buddha statue (not shown) with Lantau peak in the background (934 meters, 364 feet tall.)

I climbed Lantau Peak in just under two hours late that evening just as the sun was setting and managed to climb back down before running completely out of daylight. I got a few good pictures with the "Wisdom Path" and the "Big Buddha" on the horizon, but my photography skills are insufficient to capture the full richness of the Hong Kong sunset playing among the mountains and reflecting off of the ocean below.

The weather at the peak was not cooperating though. I climbed into the middle of a cloud, as you can see from the pictures. The whole foggy haze/can't see anything effect was cool, but I couldn't see much past the fog from the peak and I got drenched by condensing water vapor. This was still the most rewarding mountain climb I have had to date. Lantau itself, as well as the whole of Hong Kong, is an amazing natural paradise. I would go back again in a heartbeat.


The following are different views (on diferent evenings) of the most beautiful city skyline in the world; well, it beats Houston's anyway.

From Victoria Peak

From a Star Ferry Boat

Hong Kong Harbor from the suspension bridge

Monday, December 04, 2006

Out on the Town

These pictures are from our first evening out in Hong Kong Thursday (Thanksgiving) night . We ate dinner on Victoria peak, the tallest mountain peak on hong Kong Island, a popular tourist stop which offers an incredible view of the city sky line.

Dinner was great, but the turkey, the stuffing, and the desserts (not to mention family) were absent. Our feast consisted of stuffed dove, french fries, a bottle of Australian wine, and lots of sea food.

Hong Kong is Jacki Chan's hometown, and he is a pretty big deal there. You can see me posing with a full scale model of the Kung Fu King himself. We also met up with an indian guy who os trying to bring Elvis' chops, his sideburns and 60's har back from the dead.

The Hong Kong Crew

Four days off for Thanksgiving last week. I knew that I needed to escape from wintery, polluted Beijing so I, and five friends, ran south to Hong Kong for rest and relaxation in a tropical climate.

This is the motley crew in no particular order: Beau Johnson, Drew Jones, Jim Carlson, Ross Tisdale, Andrew Calwell, and myself. We are a bunch of characters! As you can tell, beards are still in at the end of No-Shave-November, and I am the only one out of style.

These pictures were taken while we were all waiting at the Beijing airport last Wednesday evening. Drew bore the brunt of much picture taking and jesting while he was asleep, but that's his problem for having a girlfriend and sacrificing valuable sleep for quality time with her before our trip. Maybe we are just all jealous