Friday, December 13, 2019

And a Happy Thanksgiving Was Had by All

Two weeks ago, I was up visiting my family for Thanksgiving.

Actually, the fun started on Wednesday on my way up them.  I stopped in Fresno as I often do to visit my friends Donald and Heather.  I got an added bonus this year since Donald’s sister and brother-in-law – who are also my friends – Stephen and Natalie, were also in town, so I got to see them.  I haven’t seen them in several years, so it was nice to catch up with all of them.  It was too short, as always, but that’s a common complaint.

That meant I got to Santa Rosa late on Wednesday, but it was worth it.

Thursday, my brother and his family hosted us for Thanksgiving, as always.  However, this year was special since we got to have Thanksgiving in their new home.  I hadn’t seen it at all yet, so I was thrilled to get to finally see it.  It looks wonderful, and they are absolutely loving it.  If they had to go through the fire, this was a wonderful result.  No, everything isn’t completely resolved yet, but they are much happier being home again.

Unfortunately, I was sick for much of the visit.  I was congested, and it has turned into a cough that hasn’t completely gone away even now.  But Thursday night, my saliva glands decided to get blocked.  They really got swollen, and it was painful to eat, so I went to see a doctor on Friday.  She gave me some advice and some anti-biotics.  Waiting for those anti-biotics was the long part, unfortunately.  But I am mostly feeling better now.

I did leave Sunday, which I typically don’t like to do.  That is always the worst day to drive around Thanksgiving.  But I am trying to save vacation for next year, and I needed to be back for fiscal year end at work on Monday.  I got up and left right away Sunday morning – I was on the road before 8 AM.  I didn’t stop for lunch, and I stopped at a very little used place for gas.  I paid extra because of it, but it was worth not having to wait.  Other than that, I just drove.  I got home mid-afternoon, which was a huge blessing to get ready to go back to work the next day.  And I didn’t have to deal with too much slow traffic, either.  I will definitely keep this in mind for the next couple of years, when I will unfortunately be doing the same thing due to work.  After that, I should be able to take Monday off again.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

The Dentist

When I was talking about the fires last week, I realized I had never posted anything about going to the dentist.  Yes, I know for most people that isn’t big news, but I hadn’t been to the dentist for over 20 years.  Yeah, I know.  I knew I had one tooth at least that was bugging me, so once my benefits kicked in at my new job, I made an appointment.  I went to one that had been recommended to me a few years ago, and is very close to my condo.  I can easily make it home after an appointment, which worked out well the day of the fire.

As I expected, I had cavities.  Turned out I had roughly a dozen.  Wasn’t expecting quite that many, although most of them are fairly small.  I do have deep indentations in my teeth normally, so this doesn’t surprise me that much.  And, considering how long it has been, that doesn’t surprise me.

No, they didn’t do all those fillings all at once.  Instead, they filled them in four different appointments.  No, it wasn’t fun, but it wasn’t horrible either.

The appointment back in October was my last one to get fillings.  One of the teeth they filled them is extremely sensitive to cold, even with using toothpaste that should be be helping with that.  But the bite feels good as does everything else.  Overall, I am happy, and I’ve had teeth sensitive to cold in the past, so this isn’t a new development.

And yes, I have my six month check up appointment already scheduled.  I don’t intend to go so long between visits again.

Monday, November 04, 2019


I spent about a week of my life at the end of October worried about fires.

It started with me.  On a Thursday, I had a dentist appointment.  Fortunately, it was by my place, because as I was driving to the appointment, I saw the smoke.  When I was done, I went home to find out the fire was a couple of miles away.  I decided to pack up and go stay with friends across town.  Turns out, I was under mandatory evacuation.  Not sure when that went into effect, but good thing I packed up and made plans.  Actually, I’m not sure I could have gotten home if I’d worked until my normal quitting time.

While some homes in the area were burned, it was a small number, and the fire never got any closer to my place.  The evacuation was lifted by the next night, although I did stay away one more night, going home on Saturday.

And it was Saturday that my family started packing up to evacuate from their homes due to a fire in northern California.  They all went to stay with my uncle and aunt a few hours away.  The evacuation was huge, so the traffic was bad, but they made it.  It was really scary with huge winds up there, but God and the firefighters keep the fire from burning too many structures again.  It could have been bad, but it wasn’t.

My brother has just moved into his new home after the fires two years ago burned his house down, so this was extra hard on everyone.  But again, God protected them and so many others.

So that was the end of my October.  Hopefully November is quieter.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Ascot Hills 5K

This Saturday, I did something I rarely do – a 5K.  Just a plain old regular 5K.

I signed up because a friend from work has been trying to get me to do a race with him, and this one was on a Saturday.  I figured that was a good thing.  Unfortunately, it was a ways away, and I had to wake up super early on a Saturday to go and do it.  Even worse, a friend from high school was in town last minute.  Fortunately, I got to see him Friday night because the friend I was going to do the race with flaked on me.

The race itself was in downtown LA at a park I had no idea existed.  Then again, I haven’t spent that much time in downtown LA, so that isn’t a surprise.  They call it a hill challenge, and they are right.  There are two hills in the 5K, and even though I regularly do run hills around my complex, these hills still got to me.  I had to walked parts of the uphill parts.

I finished in 38 minutes, which was a pretty good time as far as I was concerned.  I would have been faster if I had run the entire thing, of course, but given the hills, I’m very happy with that time.

There were so nice views of the city along the way.

I’m sure I would have enjoyed the run more had I not been so upset over my friend flaking on me.  But that kind of took the enjoyment out of it for me.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Men’s Retreat 2019

This past weekend was men’s retreat with my church, and I went again.  That’s the one advantage of the mud run I used to do that weekend going out of business, I guess.  It was at the same location as last year, a camp associated with my church’s denomination.

The location is great, up on a mountain in the woods.  The camp itself isn’t too big, which is nice because you can walk everywhere you need to go in a couple of minutes.  We got one of the nice, newer cabins again this year, which include plenty of outlets.  Granted, after the first night, I didn’t have to charge my phone.  I got no reception up there, so I was only using it to read, and I kept it in airplane mode.  You really don’t use much battery when you do that.

I rode up on Friday afternoon with my pastor.  It was nice getting to talk to him for a few hours.  Of course, he headed out Saturday night so he could preach Sunday morning.  I rode back with a guy I’d met up there.  He attends second service, so I rarely see him, but it was nice to get to know him better.

We played some disc golf, and volleyball.  One team from my church won the trivia contest.  My team didn’t.  I tried my hand at the poker tournament, but didn’t make it too far.  At least I wasn’t the first one out.

The speaker was okay.  He told some good stories, but the Bible wasn’t a big part of his talks.  And he seemed to wander.  Last year’s speaker wasn’t the best either, so I guess I need to adjust my expectations accordingly.  Or maybe I’ve just spent too many years around good preaching.

Overall, I’m glad I went.  I could have used a few more days up there to truly unwind.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Bubble Run 2019

Wow, it’s been almost a month since I updated this blog hasn’t it?  Of course, there hasn’t been too much of excitement going on.  Work, church, ultimate Frisbee.  Well, except for this last Saturday.

This last Saturday, I did The Bubble Run for the first time.  It was down at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.  The run was in the parking lot and the stadium itself.  It was supposed to be a 5K, but I really have no way of knowing if it was or not.

And the bubble part of the name?  They had five bubble machines set up along the course for us to run through.  What I didn’t realize was that the bubbles would leave colored patches on our shirts, but that washed off as soon as I put it in my washing machine.  Still, my legs were colored, which I found amusing when I got home.

Honestly, the bubbles were a bit underwhelming.  It was fun and different, but I don’t know that I’d go out of my way to do it again.

However, running through the stadium was a lot of fun.  We did that twice, once on the ground level running the outside of the field (not the part the players play on).  And then again inside the stadium itself past the concessions.

I did it with my friend Rory.  He seems hooked on this kind of run now.  Sadly, he’s moving away in a week, so it will be harder to do another run like this with him.

We got a good deal, where we just had to pay for insurance and a small donation to get in.  That definitely helped make it worth it.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Summer League Tournament

This past Saturday was the tournament that ends my summer league ultimate Frisbee league.  That’s right, you can hear me stop whining about summer league now.

Actually, I had a pretty good time, much better than I was expecting.  We only had nine people show up, two of whom were subs.  Par for the course, right?  Since we were in last place, started out playing the second place team (there were seven total teams so the first place team wasn’t involved in the first round).  We actually came very close to winning that game after going on a five point run to take the lead 9-5.  Unfortunately, we wound up losing 11-13.

That sent us to the second game in the consolation brackets.  And we actually won that second game!  The final score was 13-7 or something like that.  It felt so good.  This means we also finished above seventh place, so better than we did going into the tournament.  Not too hard when you are in last.

This also meant we got a third game, and by that point the heat and lack of subs got the better of us.  We lost that game something like 5-13.

The tournament this year was in Corona, something like an hour and a half from me.  Other than having to wake up horribly early to get there on time, it wasn’t too bad.  It certainly helped that the tournament was pushed back an hour so I didn’t have to leave town until 7 instead of 6.  Yikes!  It also helped that I carpooled with some friends who were playing on other teams.  It made the drive go much more quickly.  Surprisingly, traffic was bad either direction.

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Final Two Regular Summer League Games

We’ve played the final two games of summer league regular season.  And guess what!  Yep, we lost them both.

Last Wednesday’s game was close.  We finished 10-15, but we made grounds in catching up in the second half.

Last night’s game wasn’t close at all.  It was 3-15.  It was 1-8 at half.  We just couldn’t seem to get much going, and they were on fire.  I expected to lose, but not quite this blood bath.  Not only are we the worst team in the league, but they are the first place team.  I would have been nice to beat them, but I was hoping for a close game.  Oh well.

What’s worse is my performance in the last two points.  I had been pretty much irrelevant in the game until that point, but my guy scored on my for the next to last point and then I threw a turn on the last point.  But, when your team loses that badly, it really is a team effort.

On the plus side, we actually had double digits show up.  Yep, there were 10 of us – a season high.

This Saturday is the tournament.  Honestly, I can’t wait to get it over with and put this season behind me.  Unfortunately, it’s going to be a drive to get down there, but they’ve rolled back the starting time to 8:45.  Still have to leave town by 7, but that’s an hour later than I was thinking and it sounds manageable.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Bowling for the Zoo

I got to go bowling Saturday night!

The LA Zoo was having some kind of fundraiser.  I’m not completely sure what it was raising funds for since it wasn’t Bowling for Rhinos this time, but it didn’t matter to me too much.  Angelique was getting the same group together that had bowled together last year for Bowling for Rhinos at the last minute and asked me if I wanted to join.  Naturally, I said yes.

This was the first time I’d bowled in over a year, and it was nice to get to use my bowling ball and shoes again.

There were five of us bowling on two lanes.  I was on the lane with two people, which meant we got a lot of games in, especially since the three on the other lane were taking things a little slower.

We bowled for an hour and a half, and we got four games in on my lane.  My scores were 115, 122, 150, and 139.  What was amazing was I had more strikes in that final game than any of the other games.  Obviously, spares are important for high scores as well if you aren’t going to strike.

Anyway, it was fun to hang out with everyone.  And great to be bowling again.

Things weren’t as crowded as they were for the Bowling for Rhinos event.  I get why that is disappointing from a fundraising point of view, I was thankful because last time it was just too crowded and it was hard to move when you weren’t at your alley, which was no fun at all.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Another Week, Another Summer League Game

There are only so many ways to say we lost, so titling my blog posts is becoming hard.  But yes, we lost again.

Our game this week was Wednesday night.  Fortunately, it was close, so I didn’t have to fight traffic.  We had 9 people show up, a 10th showed up for the last point – that’s as soon as he could get there after working late.

We started out behind, down 4-8 at half, and that was after scoring a couple in a row at the end.  We came back in the second half.  While the final score was 11-15, we tied it up, and we were at 11-12 before they went on the final run to win.

What is frustrating is this is the one team we have beat all season.  On the other hand, when we beat them, they only had 8 people show up to our 9.

And they were fast.  I played the fewest points I had been all season because there was only one person I had a hope of staying with on defense.  I played most offensive points, and I would play on defense in he was on the field.  I got scored on twice in the first half.  Fortunately, I didn’t in the second half because I was playing fewer points.  I didn’t have any turn overs on offense, and I might have helped force a turn on defense in the second half.  Definitely was key in getting a reset on one of the points we scored in the second half, which made me happy.