Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tag - You're It!

My days off went by too quickly. We went to a friend's 40th birthday party on Saturday. It was a great party but I wasn't really feeling it. I think my mind was elsewhere....

I worked part of the day Sunday (my day off) -- but made up for my diligence at work by partying quite a bit at the Hole later that afternoon! I definitely enjoyed my evening with Bill, Tj. and the gang at the Hole.

And today was a HOT one -- close to 95°. I spent most of the day sitting at home, staying cool, browsing the web, checking out friends' Flickr pix.... Not very productive -- until around 3 p.m., when a buddy came by and we went biking for 2+ hours. (With a much-needed pizza stop and a more needed Gatorade stop along the way.) Has anyone of you ever ridden your bike up/down the huge hill on Juniper St in South Park? I am way too much of a wuss and always get off and walk it.

This was posted on a blog I've taken to reading on a regular basis. The girl seems so cool -- and so very different from me. Nonetheless, she seems like someone I'd take a liking to. Hi, Ehu!

What were you doing 10 years ago?
Hmmm, my memory's not the best at [cough] 39.... Let's see, 1998.... I was living with Tj. in San Francisco! We were having a great time living on Hermann St behind the Safeway (although the other tenants in the building SUCKED!) and working downtown. That March, I moved from a job as Asst Front Office Mgr at a high-end, Japanese-run hotel just off Market St to a fun, smaller hotel near Union Square where I was Front Office Manager. Weekends were a blast and were spent exploring the city during the day and having a beer at the Eagle, Lonestar, Daddy's or the Edge at night. We also got out of town occasionally and went to Guerneville and the whole Russian River area. Fort Ross was as far north up the California coast as we ever made it.

5 things on my to do list:
1. Ship my uncle's birthday gift. I heard he was fond of one of my photos (see above) and I had a huge print (15 x 45) made for him.
2. Start my upper-body and abs workout. I've been successfully losing weight (about 8 lbs in 2 months) and getting out biking, hiking, walking.... BUT, I'm not happy with the lack of arm/chest definition I have right now. (I have to brag, though, that my calves and legs look damn good lately!)
3. Clean my desk at home. My desk at work is neat and clean -- can not say the same about the one at home. (Or the storage shelves behind it, either.)
4. Find out if my sister was able to download the QuickTime video I sent my nephew. It was kinda big -- I might have to load it to a server and send her the link.
5. Finally learn more about KPBS's Reading for the Blind service. I've been meaning to check into volunteering my time, but never seem to find the time to apply. This week at the latest!

5 snacks I enjoy:
1. Trail mix -- prefer it to have yogurt-covered raisins or M&Ms, please
2. Wheat Thins
3. Chocolate -- of any kind
4. Marzipan
5. Baby carrots -- gotta put SOMETHING healthy on here!

5 places I've lived:
1. Chicago, IL
2. Monterey, CA
3. San Angelo, TX
4. Augsburg, Germany
5. Hamburg, Germany (I could keep going -- guess I'll stop at 5)

5 jobs I've had:
1. Busy Bee Bakery (one day and I was outta there)
2. Arboretum View Animal Hospital - all-around clean-up and surgery prep guy. One of the best jobs I've ever had
3. 98C1L-RU/GE
4. Night auditor at the Holiday Inn Munich-Schwabing where I had a lecherous boss
5. English teacher at Inlingua in Augsburg (excellent job, great co-workers, fun students -- one of my favorite jobs!)

- T

Friday, April 25, 2008

Apologies to Warhol

I am now the proud owner of a new MacBook. My PowerBook was beginning to show its age. It had seen me through thick and thin: being carted around town in my backpack and a move from San Diego to Hamburg and back again.

Five years of pretty much daily use had taken its toll. Recently I had the hard drive replaced after it kicked the big one. (A recent backup made that less of a major heartache than it could have been.)

Then, just a few weeks ago, the superdrive (CD/DVD burner) failed on me. I think I wanted to rip some Jamiroquai songs into iTunes [don't laugh!] when, instead of calmly taking the CD and opening iTunes, my PowerBook took the disc and spit it right back out again. How rude! Our relationship was never to be the same again.

I began looking at replacement options and felt the MacBook Pros were too big to be very portable. (They come in 15 and 17-inch sizes.) I was used to the carry-in-one-hand-while-juggling-a-Starbucks-and-a-pastry-in-the-other 12-inch size of my PowerBook. Also, at nearly double the clamshells, price became a factor, too.

But white? I'm just not really a bright colors, everything white kinda guy.... Luckily, the MacBook also comes in a great matte black.... You know which one I got!

And, once it arrived and I tested it out -- it was all over. The speed, the brightness of the new glossy 13.3-inch screen, the amazingly quick reaction times -- and the features in the new OS X Leopard. I haven't looked back.

The PowerBook got a good home, though. Tj. had been eyeing up my PowerBook for a while -- he'd been wanting to experiment with GarageBand, iPhoto, maybe even purchase Aperture.... So, along with his many other PCs, Unix boxes and Sun machine, he now has a Mac to hack away on.

- T

Monday, April 21, 2008

Palomar Mountain - Take Two!

Took another drive out to Palomar Mountain today. I met a buddy at IHOP in Escondido and, after breakfast, we drove out to Love Valley and got a short, easy hike in there.

Then we headed up to the State Park. We chose what we thought was a medium hike from Doane Pond to Scott's Cabin -- but the map didn't really tell us it was up the side of a large hill/small mountain! (That on top of the 5500-ft elevation left me panting a bit. But, I adjusted to the slightly thinner air fairly quickly.) And, at the end of the trail called Scott's Cabin, it turns out there is no cabin.... False advertising? :-)

The missing cabin notwithstanding, I got to enjoy a great day out on a mountain, a good workout (man, my calves are tight tonight!) and some damn funny conversation!

- T

Friday, April 18, 2008

"Hey! Preachers! Leave them kids alone!"

OK, I've said it before (and fairly recently) and I apparently have to say it again -- LEAVE THE KIDS OUT OF IT! We all have heard and read about the FLDS cult in Texas that has been in the news the past week or two. (And we've certainly all seen the crazy 1800s garb and hair-don'ts that the women wear....)

More important than what the adults do in their big white barn/church, how bad their fashion sense is, what kind of damn bread they bake or how many men or women or cows they each screw around with and how often - - - HOW MANY CHILDREN HAVE THEY BRAINWASHED AND HAD SEX WITH?!

"The custody case is one of the largest in U.S. history and involves children from 6 months to 17 years in age. Roughly 100 of the children are under age 4.

State officials contend the children were being physically and sexually abused or were in imminent danger of such abuse. In initial court filings, they said girls were forced into spiritual marriages — relationships ordained by the church but not legally recognized — with adult men and that boys were conditioned to be abusers as they grew up." - The Associated Press

Do you know that some of these kids can NOT identify their own parents? Some of them have never left the compound -- and some of them are having sex with men IN THEIR FIFTIES AND SIXTIES?!?!

So, once again: do what you please. Wear whatever weird polyester farm dresses you like, go for the full-body underwear, wear a beanie or a necklace made of flower petals. Pray to Jehovah, Jah/Yah, Yahweh, Allah, Zeus, Satan, Thor or even some kook tax accountant from Utah (photo above) or his loopy rapist son - - - go right ahead. But leave the children out of it. (Again, I refer to my previous post.)

Thank you and good night.

- T

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


funny graphs
From the guys who brought you icanhascheezburger.com, it's self-proclaimed " pop culture for people in cubicles".

There are too many charts and graphs relating to rap lyrics, but the ones I actually understood I thought were at least clever and sometimes even damn funny!

- T

Monday, April 14, 2008

Disneyland and Record Heat

Yesterday (Sunday) broke temperature records for this date in Anaheim, CA -- 102°F!! Disney was tied for the highest temperature in the US yesterday -- and it was truly baking.

I slathered on the 30 SPF and got through the day without a sunburn. What I did manage to have, though, was a very good time.

View the pix, if you'd like.

- T

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Disneyland Fireworks

We're joining a bunch o' guys at Disney tomorrow. And, we're in luck -- the
weather should be hot and sunny. (Hurray! Water rides!)

Tonight, though, we had a quiet evening. Dinner at CPK and the fireworks from
our hotel balcony.

- T

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Heh heh heh heh

Thanks, xkcd, for a little bit of laughter before bed.

- T

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Wisconsin Pix

You've read blog entries about the trip, you've seen shots of the Chicago part of the journey -- now be astounded by the actual photos taken in Door County, Wisconsin!

Took me long enough, I know. And what you see is actually only the first part. There's another batch of Easter pictures to come soon.

(You know the drill: click the pic, the post title above or worm your way through the web by clicking the Picasa link on the right.)

- T

Monday, April 07, 2008

Love Valley and Palomar Mountain

Hard to believe I had never been to Palomar Mountain until today. Beautiful countryside (although marred by the effects of the huge county-wide fires last year), winding country roads, lakes, an observatory. What had I been waiting for?!

Click the picture to the left or the post title to see today's pictures. (I decided to try out Tj.'s Canon Rebel XT today -- had some learning-curve issues, along with some dust or dirt on the lens -- but overall, I'm happy with the results.)

- T

Love Valley Meadow

Having a good day hiking out in the Palomar Mountain area. Beautiul out
- T

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Swarovski-Crystal-Encrusted Nespresso Coffee Machine

Mmmm.... Coffee from condensed coffee capsules AND Swarovski crystals...?! All for only 4000 bucks?

My birthday's in October, everyone. And you might want to coordinate with each other -- I don't need more than one. (I'd just end up re-gifting the extra ones anyways....)

- T

Late night . . .

. . . at the Ould Sod! [Diana and Patrick (our friends from El Centro) and Bill]

- T

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Merrell Outland Hiking Shoes

I've needed some stable, good-gripping, hiking shoes for a while. (Don't want me fallin' off a mountain, do ya? DO YA?!)

So, after hearing Dave rave about Merrell shoes for so long, I decided to try 'em, along with some others. Finally decided to go for these Merrell's. (Like the fit so far and the color -- just not that the color's called Beluga Blue -- like a whale...?!)

Will get to try them out at Palomar Mountain on Monday. Watch for pix to follow.


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

A stolen sunny afternoon . . .

. . . Paul van Dyk on my iPod . . .

. . . a walk in the park . . .

It's not so hard to put a smile on my face.

- T

"I'm In Charge Here"

I've been with IKEA for almost 8 years -- most of that time as a manager.

Somehow, though, I've been lucky enough to avoid the Duty Manager
roster.... Until now.

Not that it's that bad to pull the duty, but it does take out of my day and
keeps me from my 'real' work.

But, I'm actually really good with customers and can usually calm them down
or put a smile on their face. And, it's only a few shifts a month, so it's
a nice change of pace from my regular behind-the-scenes job.

- T