Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!!!

From our festive little living room...
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Video: Christmas in Whistler

Check out this 4 minute video of our ski weekend in Whistler...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Christmas Letter 2006

Get ready to be amazed and entertained, it's time to read the 3rd annual Dave and Natalie Bradley Christmas letter...

2006 has been a relatively relaxing year for us. We only moved once and only flew up to Seattle 6 times. It was definitely time to settle down after last year's 8 moves so we signed a year lease on a duplex in Mountain View, a block away from 2 Starbucks and near a bunch of friends. Natalie is enjoying the backyard; her cousin Heather even flew down to help plant flowers--we found that Miracle Grow dirt lives up to its name. And we like the free internet service provided to the City of Mountain View by Google--speaking of, I just ran into Eric Schmidt (CEO of Google) last Sunday at Home Depot buying Christmas lights. He didn't seem to remember me from last time we met, but I was able to thank him for GMail.

One of the blessings that came with moving back up to the Bay Area this year was being able to take 45 of our Younglife kids—many of them seniors that we've been with since they were freshman—to summer camp "Malibu" in Canada, an incredibly beautiful camp next to the Chatterbox falls northwest of Vancouver. We had an unbelievable week, as we always do at Younglife camp.
Last month Natalie and I got to perform a skit (see video ) for the Younglife banquet; we take advantage any opportunity to be on stage.

Our church is 20 minutes north from where we live, Central Peninsula Church in Foster City. My friend from Sacramento, Justin Buzzard, was named Pastor of Young Adults this year and leads the twentysomething bible study group that we attend on Thursday nights. We have had a great time there and met many wonderful new friends.

We gave in to the peer pressure this year and started a blog—it's where we post pictures and videos for friends and family to see what we're up to. The blog's name, "Life Snacks" stems from one of Natalie's nicknames from San Diego. Check it out, you'll see Natalie doing a 360 on her wake board, Dave riding up the fastest elevator in the world in Taipei, video of Ryan and I driving to Arizona and back in one day for spring training, and coming soon… clips from last year's Europe trip—including our brush with the pope and our interview of a friend of Prince Charles. And while you're there, be sure to leave your comments and click on the ads on the right side of the page about 50 times per week =), that will help us pay for Christmas presents this year.

We found a renter for our condo in San Diego so that helps with a little bit of the mortgage. We're looking forward to selling it so we don't have to be long distance landlords. Sales pitch: Brand new, near UCSD, between La Jolla and Del Mar, walking distance to Torrey Pines state beach, beautiful sunset views...

I graduated from Santa Clara University this June! After four years of no sleep I finally get to go to bed before midnight. Thank you Natalie for putting up with the many late nights, the study groups, and for being a constant support through it all.

I've been a program manager and mechanical engineer at Panta Systems for one year now and it's treating me well. The best news for us this year was our historic victory over IBM and HP for a world record Oracle benchmark. We shall see if that translates into increased sales.
Bradley Mechanical Engineering took a break this year to concentrate on the MBA and the startup, but may ramp back up again in 2007. If you know anyone who needs a product designed and manufactured, maybe I can be of service.
Natalie is doing very well with First American Title, she's a natural saleswoman (the trustworthy and hardworking type, not the shady type). Everyone in her office loves her and all her clients want to do more business with her. She's enjoying working from home in her robe and is growing attached to her treo.

Natalie and I celebrated Canada Day (July 1st) in Victoria before heading down to Seattle to celebrate our own country's independence 3 days later. While in Victoria we were able to visit the Bouchart Gardens, watch fireworks with hundreds of people dressed (and painted) in red, and ride a horse drawn carriage around town.
We drove down to San Diego for a 3-day weekend to stay in a bed and breakfast Natalie won through work. It was... interesting; a house in the middle of nowhere poorly converted into something resembling a "castle," and the innkeepers were the 'Renassainse Fair' type. Good thing it was free.
I went to Taipei for 2 weeks to meet with our manufacturing partners there for work. In my spare time I was able to travel around by train and subway, sample the great foods, and even get on TV marching with a bunch of protesters that wanted to depose the president.
For Christmas this year we're skiing in Whistler, celebrating Christmas Day with my family in Sacramento, then off to Park City, Utah for more skiing. Looking forward to that.

Natalie and I have been especially blessed by our friends and family this year; you are in our hearts and prayers this Christmas. Please keep in touch and let us know what's happening in your life.

Merry Christmas!
Dave and Natalie Bradley

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Video: Cheerleader Skit

Natalie and I had the honor of providing comic relief at the 2006 South Penninsula Younglife Fundraising Banquet this weekend. The event was a success and many funds were raised for a great cause--Denny Rydberg, the president of Younglife, even mentioned us in his speech! Woo hoo!! Enjoy the video...

Monday, October 16, 2006

San Francisco View

Natalie and I stopped by here on the way back home from Meganfest. Nice view--and that bridge in the background is pretty cool too.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Natalie's Birthday!

Dinner at Pedros with friends to celebrate anniversary of the birth of the most wonderful beautiful girl in the world! Pictured: Will, his girlfriend who it turns out Natalie knew in L.A. but hasn't seen for 6 or 7 years, Emilee, Sara, Audrey, Charisse, Natalie, Dave, Francis, Joanna. Francis won the toasting contest. Good friends, good fellowship, good times. And we even got to preview Emilee's video of Will and I's 'Nacho Libre' skit for Younglife.

Natalie also received this incredible music video from Nick....

Friday, September 22, 2006

Guanghua Market

This is Taipei's "Gadget District", the place to go for electronics. 196 stalls: 140 for electronics products, 55 for books, and 1 for antiques. Plus 348 surrounding shops that also sell electronics.

Annual revenues = US$706 million.

In the early 197o's this was the place to go for books, then evolved to comic books, cassette tapes, then VHS videos. As Taiwan's economy and standard of living improved it became the premier spot for anything electronic. Unfortunatly, the prices are the same here as in the US... but there is a greater selection.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Taipei 3

Just a few more days and I get to go home and see Natalie! Woo hooo!

From Travel_Taiwan...
Sunday night: Ate many interesting foods at the Keelung night market. I took the train all the way to the northern tip of Taiwan to meet Leo, a guy I work with at T-Win, so he could show me all the crazy foods to eat at the night market. I don't know what they were, I'll just have to show you pictures.
Monday: Had lunch with the president of Malico, our heat sink supplier. Sushi for dinner, work, sleep.
Tuesday: Had a good lunch with Leo; I learned a bit about Buddhism and shared with him what the gospel is all about. Visited the Shilin night market, the largest night market in Taiwan.
From Travel_Taiwan...
Wednesday: Got out of work early and went to the National Palace Museum. Very impressive. Tickets for the museum + an English tour are only $1. I learned that 618611 meant "restraint" in 2000 B.C. The Chung dynasty would mold the number into their wine containers to remind them not to drink too much like the last dynasty did. Met a Kiwi family; there seem to be a lot of people from New Zealand travelling around here.
Thursday: Long day of work with Tatung. Heading to dinner soon.

Some things I've learned this week:
1. A family of 4 can fit on a single scooter.
2. There's no floor 4, bad luck, like our 13.
3. I apparently can speak Chinese without an American accent. Finally the mumbling is appreciated!
4. Everyone says that a smile and a thank you gets you a long way in a foreign country. That's true, but I think you get a little further by standing in front of someone with a dumb, lost, look on your face. That's how I made it through the bus system.
5. There are no good Chinese candies. That's probably why they eat fruit for desert.
6. A carmel frappuccino tastes the same in Taiwan as it does in the US.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Bad Candy

I have never met an asian candy that I have liked; that includes the box above. This is a famous holiday cookie from the Keelung area of Taiwan--show this box to anyone from Taiwan and they'll recognise it. I was able to sample many more of their so called "candy" while I was in Taiwan and my hosts always laughed as my face contorted in disgust. I guess that's why they eat fruit for desert, I would too.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Taipei 2

Friday night I went to the "Depose Chen" protest at the main train station pictured above. They want the president to resign and everyone is wearing red shirts and giving the thumb's down signal. I'm pretty sure I was on TV a few times because everyone thought it was funny that there was a tall white guy marching with them. Today I walked down to Starbucks for some lunch; there's a Starbucks, 7-11, and Subway on every corner.

I went to Dansui yesterday, a pretty town on the Dansui river at the end of the metro line to the north (see MRT map below). I took a ferry to the other side of the river (pictured above) and walked around some nice parks. Very windy from the typhoon, but it's almost to Japan now so it's calming down. Had a big bowl of beef noodles for lunch for $0.30. Ate dinner at an English pub so I could have a big cheesesteak sandwhich and fries. I noticed that they have "English nights" at the pub where english speakers get in free and locals can come in and practice their english.

Today I'm doing work at the hotel and tonight I'm headed to Kee-Leong to meet one of the guys I work with in his hometown, he wants to show me the "best night market in Taiwan." I'll be taking the train there so hopefully I can figure that out.

Interesting (to me) Taiwan facts:
1. Our hand sign for "hang loose" means "six" here.
2. Instead of saying 'W' "double-u" they say "double-v" like it should be.
3. They can say "how's it going?" without it being a question. Wouldn't it be nice if we could do that?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Taipei 1


Made it in to Taipei last night, good flight, good food, not much jetlag. Had a layover in Japan but didn't see much because it was foggy and rainy out the airport windows. The first day of meetings were successful and I ended the day with a trip up the tallest building (no, the it's not the towers Sean Connery was swinging from in "Entrapment", those are in Kuala lumpur as shown in the picture above) in the world... on the fastest elevator in the world (1010 meters/minute). See elevator ride video here:

The walk and subway trip back to the hotel were also exciting. Typhoon Shanshan hasn't arrived yet, it's been very nice weather so far.

Funny quotes of the day:
Taiwanian: "Wow, you got married really young, I thought American wait until later because you get divorce many times and every time you get divorce you have to give the other person half your money."
Dave: "Many of us prefer to get married once and stay married."
Taiwanian: "But Jessica Simpson just got divorce."

Dave: "How did you like San Francisco when you visited?"
Taiwanian: "There are a lot of homeless people; why does your government pay people when they are not working? Why would they ever get a job?"

Taiwanian: "Why do you pay for all the Mexicans' healthcare?"

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Natalie's 360

Unfortunately, we didn't get a good pic of Natalie's 360 on the wake (she's way better than I am), but here's her jump approach.

And this is one of my many attempts at jumping the wake.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Lake Shasta Houseboating

From LakeShasta_Ho...
This picture is beautiful--not because of the sunset, which is ok--but because we're waterskiing on an empty lake at sunset. We definitely got our fill of wakeboarding in this weekend, every morning and afternoon for 3 days. I only use those muscles twice a year so I'm pretty sore. Natalie did a couple more 360s on the wake to rub it in that she's better than me, I finally jumped over the entire wake, and Mike even let us drive his boat!

From LakeShasta_Ho...
We got the Ultimate Cruiser boat so we made full use of the hot tub and waterslide. After enough beers, this football-catching game off the waterslide is quite entertaining.

From LakeShasta_Ho...
Clay provided the relaxation raft. Lisa planned an excellent menu so we never went hungry. The best part was just being with a bunch of other young couples and having the time to have some real conversations.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Malibu Younglife Camp

After 3 years of Woodleaf camp (which is also incredible) we finally got to go to Malibu (in Canada)! We took 45 kids by plane, 2 buses, and 2 ferries to get there and it was definitely worth the big trip.

Sleeping on the plane... Riding on the bus...

Played baseball at the ferry boarding town with some very cheap Wiffle Ball gear... and played a little scrabble on the journey (notice the advanced 3x4 action on the right side).

The guys getting ready to win the vollyeball tournament.

Chatterbox falls.

80's night.

Natalie trying out the single ski. They had 5 Mastercrafts at this camp constantly taking people waterskiing and wakeboarding, wow.

This thing was very difficult to stay on, buy it was fun trying.

Pretty nice camp, eh?
The whole group!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

4th of July Celebration

We're in the patriotic spirit at Natalie's grandpa's house on lake Joy.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Buchart Gardens

Can you spot the beautiful flower amoung the beautiful flowers (above)?

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Canada Day

Many people painted red, lots of great fireworks.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Friday, June 16, 2006

Santa Clara Graduation

I graduated! And here's the picture to prove it...
Crazy in-laws...

Celebration croquet game and BBQ.And the celebration dinner on the beach...

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Moving to Mountain View

We moved into our cool duplex in Mountain View today. Thanks to the Younglife guys for all the help!! We finally got to get all our stuff out of storage in Livermore after 7 months! Wooo hooo! The backyard looks like it will work out well for croquet tournaments...

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Cupid's Castle

Here's the "castle"...
We stayed at this place for a weekend because Natalie won it from her work. It's in the middle of nowhere, kind of near an indian casino. The owners are very nice, there was just a little too much Renaissance Fair flavor for us.

Here's the website if you want to make a reservation.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Santa Maria and Hunninton Beach

On our way down to San Diego to meet our new renter and stay at "Cupid's Castle" we stopped in to see my good friends Dan and Dave, their wives, and their kids! Even though Dan was getting ready to go heli-skiing in Canada with Tony Hawk the next day he still let us stay at his place and we all went out to breakfast the next morning...

After we had our fill of breakfast we headed down to Hunnington Beach to enjoy the afternoon with Alyssa and Jason--and we snuck in a little surfing.

That night we had dinner in San Diego with Doug and Jenn and reminisced about being neighbors.