Building Solidity in 2k4

Another sunny weekend over, here it is sunday nite already and i’ve done… not much productive. 😉 Okay, i did spend a few hours writing some code for a small contract job. And i got that drain pan full of used oil out of Steph’s garage, finally. Huh, that reminds me… it’s still in the trunk of the Sentra. Heh heh. Anyway…

I’ve been a bit under the weather all weekend, with what i think is turning into a sinus infection, so i guess i can use that as an excuse for why i missed several opportunities for fun and sun the last few days. Staying inside with a box of kleenex, a few packets of instant oatmeal, a case of sprite and several bags of cough drops (i like flavor variety) gave me lots of time to surf the net and watch tv. Huh, i seem to find time to do those things when i’m not sick, too. So maybe i was just lazy this weekend… but i really am sick. Honest! Believe me, i would not have missed Anna’s going-away party had i been even the least bit up to leaving the house saturday nite. As it is, i shall have to wish her safe travels over the phone and visit her someday soon in Fresno, i suppose.

The point i was meandering towards is that in all my extra (or not-so-extra) surfing time i found this funny/interesting/provoking article by Robert Cringley, an opinionated and oft-maligned technology columnist. There’s a reason why this column is called “the pulpit” but i actually found this one less offensive than usual, a little more grounded in research. Or maybe i just agreed with him, so i rationalized that he makes sense. Regardless, you should read it, so maybe you can say “i knew that’s what would happen” with me ten years from now.

In other travel-related news, Christian will be here in 5 days! Kim and i still haven’t cleaned his room or his office… doh! But that doesn’t mean we aren’t really really excited for him to get here!

Also happening this week, Danielle starts her first day of work! Yup yup, she has a job already – she’s such a go-getter! I’m very proud of her hard work and determination in moving out here, everything from driving her own u-haul truck all over the city to tackling her job hunt right off the bat to figuring out the bus schedule so she doesn’t have to commute downtown. She’s going to fit in great in Seattle, and i’m so so so glad she’s close by again, because i really missed her!

My boss said something a couple months ago about this being a year of building solidity for our department. I dunno if that will ever materialize, but i do see 2004 being such a year for me. My career is clicking along, my good friends are getting better and nearer, i’m feeling better about my life than i ever have… and my dream car runs like a champ! Here’s to 2k4! 😀

Crossing things off my stress list

I want to say the weekend was really busy… but it wasn’t terribly. I want to say i got a lot done, but that’s not completely true, either. It was just a weekend. It’s over and i’m back at work, but only 5 days this week and then i’m off to MT for a snowy holiday. My next weekend will be in 2004… maybe that’s why i felt like more should have happened this past saturday and sunday. Huh… the passage of time is a strange animal. Huge thanx to Steph, tho, for all her generousity with the house, the garage, the breakfast bagel, the riding around and the dealing with me being a huge, annoying stressball of Christmas un-cheer. She’s a saint.

At least i’ve regained some sanity now that my shiny red baby is home – even if she’s at Steph’s home and not mine, she’s at least at someone’s home. I don’t get the impression that campbell-nelson nissan treated her with the love and concern she demands and deserves. The doors weren’t even locked when i found her on the back lot saturday morning. So far i think everything is intact… except, of course, the engine. Wouldn’t know it by looking, tho – even Jason said it all looks perfectly OK under there. I resisted the urge to close my eyes and turn the key, on the off chance it would magically work. After i unscrewed the oil pan drain plug and nothing came out… any lingering illogical hope was dried up, as well.

I started in on labeling tubes and wiring harnesses under the hood, took a few easy things off and starting draining fluids. I don’t have the right tools to get the tranny drain plug out, so that’s as far as i made it. My Z will spend Christmas on jackstands, and i’ll resume the project when i return from MT. Although i think the vacation will be nice, i really wish i wasn’t going, or wasn’t going for as long, as my instincts to put everything in order before leaving town are completely thrown off my the current state of my car. Leaving her in shambles while i fly elsewhere seems unnatural, and will most surely pick annoyingly at the back of my mind like ancient chinese water torture – drip… drip… you left a mess… drip… you should be doing something with this time… drip… you don’t deserve a vacation right now… drip… drip… slacker! … drip… you don’t deserve a collector’s car! … drip… drip… – until i’m back in the garage.

Despite stress, guilt, stress, exhaustion, lack-of-transportation-independence issues, frustration, and, oh, stress, i’ve still managed to almost complete my Christmas shopping. Hopefully a couple stops downtown tonight in between bus transfers will take care of the last few, and then an evening of wrapping and packaging, and i can cross that off my stress, er, to-do list. Sorry, no intended guilt trip – i have enjoyed shopping for all of you. It’s been a nice distraction. 😉

Long weekend yeah!

Short weeks are good. Long weekends are better. Explain: i have tomorrow off, so today is my friday. And that’s very good. It’s been a stressful week.

But Lance gets here tonight at 8 for the weekend, and i pushed my expense check thru in time to have it today so i won’t be broke for his visit, and i’m going to have a long, enjoyable weekend with him and forget that i work here. And a lady emailed me about the Maxima today and sounds interested in it, so things can only get better. How many more weeks until my vacation??? Too many.

Perhaps even an 8.7

Sunday night and the weekday’s almost here already. Of course, i didn’t get out of bed today until almost 2pm, so today did feel kind of short… 😉 Heh heh… that was awesome. Anyway, here’s the weekend update – can’t guarantee it will be as funny as Jimmy Fallon and Tina Faye’s. Friday: drinks with John at the airport (rating: 10), heinous airport parking fees (rating: 0), crappy day at work (rating: -1), dinner of Ben & Jerry’s (rating: 8). Saturday: shopping with Clint & Christi (rating: 7 – would have been higher if we’d had any money to buy stuff), taking Steph to laser eye surgery appointment (rating: 6 – plugged into iPod in waiting room, got a nice nap in, finished the crossword), 80s party at Dave’s (rating: 8 – did the moonwalk and the running man, enjoyed hot melted cheese dip and Pop Rocks). Sunday: get up at 2pm (rating: 9), grilled cheese and old Matthew Broderick movie with Josh and Steph (rating: 7 – War Games never gets less entertaining, but the dishes are still in the sink), coffee with Steph on the beach (rating: 7 – beautiful sunny afternoon, although starbucks was out of white chocolate syrup), sitting around with Josh filling our sketchbooks – his with CD artwork mockups, mine with cartoons (rating: 8 – cause Josh is very supportive and keeps telling me i’m not completely devoid of talent). Now we’re watching melodramatic cop shows on cbs and, well… doing this. And i think the dishes can wait until the morning. No sense cluttering up an “8.6” weekend with low-rated chores. 😉

Bumbershoot roundup

Long weekends are the best, especially when they’re Bumbershoot weekend. I got up at noon today – that never hurts! Yesterday i caught some great bands, check out the pix. Highlight of the day was Kinky, a rock/club band from Mexico that put on a great show. Go buy their CD at Amazon, they rock. Also had a great sunday afternoon with Libby downtown shopping for books and better careers. Good luck, Lib! And up in the photo gallery are pix of the Mariners game with some peeps on wednesday. We lost, but who really cares what the score is from the beer garden? 😉

Some days have all the luck.

The strange little lego freddie-looking alien guy on top of my monitor is staring at me today. Normally i’d stare back, but i’m really tired right now and i just don’t think i’d win. Here’s a funny story for you. Last nite when i got home i noticed there is condensation inside my right light bulb, probably a result of my changing all the bulbs this week and cleaning the engine bay in preparation for selling it (the car, not just the engine bay). So i took the bulb out, along with the rubber seal around it, and set them on top of a nearby fuse box, so the bulb housing could air out last nite. This morning, because i’m stupid, i got in the car and headed for work. About 6 blocks from home i remembered the carefully-balanced parts under the hood, and pulled over. Of course, the bulb was totally gone. At least the rubber seal was still there. I poked around in the splash guards and whatnot, but no bulb. Closed the hood and drove two more blocks before i decided it would be a good idea to grab the rubber seal out of there before it, too, fell thru the cracks. Again, reference my stupidity. Pull over, open hood, grab rubber seal, back in car… people on sidewalk rather curious. Got home, of course bulb is not in the street in front of my house. I had a few spares (at least i didn’t have to go buy one!) and after testing a couple found one that worked. Assembled and ready… oh, wait… rubber seal is still sitting in the cupholder. Okay, re-assembled and ready. Head back to work. Two blocks from home, shiny metal thing catches the sunlight at an intersection. Like a mad person i jump out of my car to rescue it and… it’s an empty pack of dentyne. No, just kidding, it’s the bulb, and no one’s driven over it yet. But i felt pretty weird picking up shiny garbage in the street with cars behind me, it might as well have been a pack of gum. So moral of the story is… if you take your car apart and then go to bed, put a post-it on the dash first so you don’t drive off in a disassembled car in the morning. There is now a pack of post-its in my car.

At least it’s friday, so i only have a few more hours of being behind the wheel or around sharp objects where i risk injuring myself at the hands of my own stupidity. This weekend is Bumbershoot and i have tickets for two days, saturday and monday. There’s several bands i want to see saturday, but i couldn’t get anyone else to commit to going, so i just bought the ticket anyway and i’m gonna go regardless. They’re only 15 bucks, for a full 16-hour day of concerts on a half-dozen different stages. Not exactly a bank-breaker, don’t know what people’s excuse is. But i’m gonna go see Macy Gray and Kinky and REM, and if no one else wants to, well, they can fall through the splash guards too for all i care…

Just playing with toys

My Homestar Runner figurines arrived two days ago, but i’ve been so busy since then i haven’t even had a chance to tell you about them! Augh! 🙂

Last nite we took the boat all the way around Mercer Island, with a small detour on the south end of the island for Kim to take advantage of some great waterskiing conditions. The sunset over the city from the lake was incredible! And we almost got swamped by a seaplane about 10 times as we were crossing Lake Union in search of dinner. So that was pretty fun. 😉 And check out the killer tape collection of Kirby’s i found hiding on the bookshelf at home – makes a great boat soundtrack, doncha think?

Weekend’s almost here, tonite is (finally) payday, so things are looking up there, too! Saturday Steph hooked me up with an extra spot in their company’s box at the drag races (sweet!) and then sunday she and i are headed to portland for the international brew fest thingy, and to cross paths with Zach & Brandy. Also, saturday nite i’m headed out with the team for Clint’s bday. And friday nite is the torchlite parade downtown, the start of SeaFair week. So i predict this weekend will fly by and i totally won’t be ready for monday… 😉 And then next week is SeaFair, fun in the sun, baby! Gonna live on the lake for a week! 😀

So, enough delay already, let’s talk about the Homestar figurines! If you live under a rock or in a cave or something and haven’t watched the toons on the web, you better go do it right now! Seriously, the guys that make these, Mike & Matt, are really clever, and the stuff is completely out there and super funny. Strong Bad reading his email is one of the best features, and the Teen Girl Squad shorts are hilarious! So i ordered the whole figurine set the day i heard they were released on fark. They’re really sweet, i’m totally impressed with the quality and accuracy. Plus they’re kewl! They also came with a hand signed thank-you from Mike and Matt, pretty sweet. For your enjoyment, i also have Strong Bad and The Cheat taking a roadtrip in the Viper and Strong Bad rollin’ in style in the Nissan 350Z. I know you’re totally jealous, and wish you had been the first person to get them! 😀

Air shows and wakeboarding

Oooh, i can barely walk today! So i must have had a really great weekend, right? Well, you’re right, i did! Summer is the best! 🙂

Friday nite we took Josh out for his birthday. Started with dinner at the Elysian Brewery (mmm… beer battered fish!). I feel it important to point out that their cool mood music was pumping out of an iMac behind the bar. 😉 Then it was off to Dilletante for way-too-rich desserts that required taking the latter half home with us in boxes. That could perhaps be partly because Kim, Josh and I ate an entire birthday cake in the 5 days preceeding. Josh actually only had two pieces, so it was really Kim and myself enjoying birthday cake with dinner, for dinner, as a snack, for breakfast, etc. Anyway… then down to the Alibi Room for drinks, finishing off a great summer evening! And a big happy birthday to Josh! He should have birthdays more often…

Saturday Josh and I met his friend Duncan for a most excellent day of lake fun and sun. Besides being a rather cool guy, Duncan also pilots a well-equipped boat, perfect for Josh’s seasonal-first and my forever-first day on a wakeboard! It was a total blast, i did way better than i thot i would and had a superb time at it. Despite swallowing a large portion of lake washington, i managed to get on my feet by the end of my first set, and by the second set i was getting the feel of it and carving around the wake a bit. I’m totally jacked about giving that another try, and a big whopper thanx to Duncan for being such a patient instructor and gracious watercraft host! Totally sweet.

Lest we get any time to rest, Josh and I rolled right up to Steph’s to enjoy her housewarming festivities – burgers, beer and good company! We did a good job of scaring Steph’s work friends into their own little corner of the house with our obnoxiousness and chased each other with leftover sparklers in the backyard. A top-notch summer evening, and a perfect initiation for Steph’s new house!

Sunday Gabe and i rolled down to Tacoma to scope out some freakin huge airplanes, and also some not-as-huge but still pretty impressive ones, at the McChord AFB air show. I’ve got pics i’m workin on, but suffice to say we saw a lot of cool stuff, and Gabe totally filled my brain with random airplane facts – i think i could lube the landing gear on a C-17 with my eyes closed. 😉

Today it’s back to work, and not too bad of a day, as i’m spending most of it working with the graphic design department to set up their sweet new Macs (including one of those amazing 23″ cinema displays). Always fun to work on the machines in that department… 😉 Spent some time catching up on IM with Sara Torbet, Josh Lambert and Shanna Massey, too – great talking to you kids!

So i’m still totally sore from abusing myself on the lake, drinking a bit, and getting no sleep – so much so that i’m still limping this afternoon. But it was totally worth it! I’m having a great monday – hope you are all too! 😀

Uh, no particular topic

What’s the deal with time moving so fast, anyway? The last two weeks have felt like a whirlwind…

Trip to MT was great, it was awesome to see Mom and Dad and see how their new house is coming along. It’s going to be really cool (pix coming!), even despite the washboard roads and early-morning livestock fiascos. Tonya and Jared’s wedding was a great chance to see them, and catch up with a few others. A sunny, amazing weekend to travel, too. Lance, Matt and I caught the new Charlie’s Angels movie back in missoula sunday, which is great, and joined Grama and Grampa, Grama Frances, Aunt Judy & Uncle Gordy, Jennifer & Anthony, Taylor, Zachary, and Mom & Dad for McKenzie River pizza at Rowdy’s Cabin. Overall, a great vacation, although i did come back somewhat less than rested. 😉

Christian finally got his phone fixed just before i left, so feeling a little less disconnected there. I called him at sunday brunch and passed the phone so he could congratulate Tonya, too – ironically, he was at a wedding reception at the time. He’s hoping to run the Florence marathon in october (yes, in Florence, Italy!) and i’m going to try and cross-schedule my trip to be there waiting at the finish line! I have the money all saved up, gonna start shopping for plane tickets pretty soon. So exciting!

Gabe returned to Seattle from air force tech school on friday, so since i’ve been home monday we’ve been hanging out nonstop. Helped him pick up his Honda streetbike (pix coming!) from the repair shop, and now that the frame is straight we’re both seeing the potential to make it really cool, and are really excited to start working on it. He’s gonna be stationed at McChord AFB in tacoma, so he’ll be around awhile – we’re gonna do all sorts of stuff. 😉 We also rolled thru Sturtevant’s, an awesome ski shop (staffed with cool, friendly people despite being on the eastside) and a found a sweet DNA ski jacket for half off – part of my watch-for-good-deals-on-gear-so-i’m-outfitted-by-next-season plan. Sweet!

Found a bunch more cool anime movies and some japanese musicians that are really cool – added a few of them to my Amazon wishlist. Feel free to buy me something. 😉 I ordered Akira on DVD and it arrived just before i left, so i haven’t watched it yet. I’m excited, tho – it’s one of the cornerstones of modern japanese animation, and digitally remastered in DTS it’s supposed to be really impressive.

Headed to Woodburn, OR (near Portland) with the NWNismo crew tomorrow morning, for a track day and some vacation time. Hopefully, i’ll be able to scam a ride down there in somebody’s Z32 (Clint? Christi? Hint hint!) but as long as i make it down there, i expect i’ll have a good time. Patrick is rolling down to Cali tomorrow morning, too, so we might caravan with him as far as Portland. He’s gonna be gone until sept 21st – it’s gonna be lonely around here for the summer! And he’s gonna miss out on some serious boat time… 😉 That’s today’s plan, btw. I still need to do some laundry and pack tonite, but hopefully i’ll be done with work a bit early, to meet Kim at home and head for Lake Union and some watery summer fun! If ya wanna go, gimme a call… 😀

88 lines about a couple dozen people

Sunday nite, i should be in bed, but it’s still too hot to sleep. It’s even too hot to clean my room, even though it really needs it. 😉 Not to hot to sit in the office and surf, tho…

All you slackers that replied ‘yes’ on coming out to the Cloud Room friday are in big trouble! The ‘maybe’ folks, i hate you, but in a friendly way. The ‘no’ folks, well, there were some good excuses in there, so i’m gonna let that slide. But all you ‘yes’ types that morphed into ‘no’s… that’s what ‘maybe’ is for, fools! Thanks to the ‘yes’ folks who stayed true, we had a good time without all you goobers anyway… 😉 Turns out the Cloud Room was actually closed for a private party, which was and continues to be really lame of them. Not impressed. We walked up the street to the Capitol Club instead, where the patio’s just as breezy, the drinks are just as expensive, but the view’s not as good. Met some cool people around a shared table, tho, had a good time. Someone we won’t mention (who knows who she is!) took a ride with a nice guy on a streetbike and didn’t come back for quite a while…

Helped Christie celebrate her birthday a few days early by drinking beer in her living room and helping her watch bad tv. Julia and i found a great new teriyaki place on california ave and got some good skating time in. Breakfast on the beach with Adam & Lindsay (well, i had breakfast – they had lunch 😉 – crabcakes benedict at the Alki Cafe… very good! ) Called Dad to wish him a Happy Father’s Day and a Happy Birthday! Received a really groovy postcard from Christian’s trip to Italy, a photo of Firenze, making me hate him even more (but in the way mentioned above). Josh and i beat a PS2 game sunday evening. Patrick wrecked his car (suck!). Travis was too busy at work to look at my car, which had an adverse effect on his ‘rocks’ status, dropping him to merely ‘is pretty cool’, although there is still time to redeem those lost points. Didn’t get my car washed, my room cleaned, or the bills paid – my three chores for the weekend – but there’s always tomorrow… 😉