I find it funny that my last post here was about being strangely productive. Then I proceeded to not post anything for almost two months. Actually, it is because I have been so busy I haven't had time to come back and post, but that's a post for another day.
Right now, I'm going to talk about Left Coast Crime 2020.
With the Corona virus beginning to break out in the states, I was surprised that it wasn't cancelled early. But it was still scheduled as of March 11th, so I headed down. It took place in San Diego, and I was looking forward to spending some time with fellow mystery lovers.
However, March 12th was a strange day. For one thing, it was rainy and cold. The first real rain we'd had since December. Then, the major bookseller decided the risk to their employees was too great, so at the last possible moment (the books were on the tables to be sold), they backed out of selling books. Panels were constantly changing since people were cancelling left and right.
But I still managed to have some fun. I got books signed by most of the authors I brought from home. I was able to talk to a few friends while maintaining a distance from there. Still, the entire thing felt surreal somehow.
And I had a panel to moderate. When I registered, I'd volunteered to moderate a panel if they needed me, and they put me on one for culinary cozies. Right up my ally, right? One of the authors cancelled week of, but I had three of the original four panels, and no new panelists. I consider myself very lucky.
The panel went well. The authors were engaging and interacted well with each other. I had way way more questions than I needed for a 45 minute panel, but that was okay. I'd rather that than the other way around. The audience was engaged. I was happy with how it went, and plenty of people said they thought it went well, which made me happy, too.
It was right after the panel that the word came down that San Diego County was banning all gatherings of a large size, so we were shut down effective that evening. Fortunately, the hotel was willing to not charge me for the rest of my reservation, so I packed up and headed home, going into work the next day. I stopped in Oceanside for dinner at the Pit Stop Diner, which was fun.
I'm glad I went. Yes, part of me is disappointed things turned out as they did, but with everything going on in the world, I certainly understand it.
Monday, April 06, 2020
Tuesday, February 11, 2020
I was strangely productive for me this last week. You have to understand, when I get home from work, the computer, TV, and book are calling to me. And I have plans that involve doing twice as much on any of them as I can actually get done. So things tend to not get done that I should be doing when I am home. Like cleaning. Or picking up after myself. And running twice a week after work doesn’t help since that seems to take quite a bit of my evening.
Which is one reason my Christmas decorations didn’t get put away until last week. On Super Bowl Sunday, I got serious about taking ornaments off my tree. I had some off, but I took more off. Monday, I got the rest of the ornaments off and the lights off one tree. Wednesday, the lights were off and the trees were boxed up. Thursday, everything related to Christmas was put away and the living room was put back in order.
Then, this weekend, I did my taxes. I usually have one or two weekends where I intend to do them before I actually do, but this weekend, I sat down and got them done. I even got stuff done for my blog on Saturday, which meant I could spend a lazy weekend reading.
The result? I came into work this week feeling like I’d had a relaxing and productive weekend.
I wish I thought this would last, but I figured I should celebrate it while I could.
Friday, January 31, 2020
I did the winter 5K race at my alma mater, The Master’s University, again this month. It was supposed to be a cold day, but with the sun out, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. The wind, on the other hand did help. My boss did it with me, and I was glad I was more bundled up than he was.
He stuck with me the entire time. I was feeling comfortable running, which is a huge improvement over last year, when I felt like I should stop and walk a time or two. I didn’t last year, and I didn’t this year.
Unfortunately, I was a little slower this year. 4 whole seconds. I still finished in just under 33 minutes at 32:50, so I am running about an 11 minute mile these days, I guess. At one time, I was able to run under a 10 minute mile, but I was also logging major miles while training for a Tough Mudder and half marathon. Those days are obvious behind me.
As always, the course is nice. And being back on campus is a trip. They’ve changed so much, and I knew the campus so well since I worked there for so many years. It looks good, the changes are definitely for the best. It’s just always fun to see what has changed.
And, I got to run into some friends as well. That’s always a fun bonus of running this race as opposed to running a race where I know no one.
Friday, January 24, 2020
It was two years ago this week that I had my surgery for my colon cancer. I had another follow up colonoscopy at the beginning of the month, and everything is still looking good. Also met with my oncologist this month, and he thinks I look healthy as well. (Well, I need to lose some weight, but that’s a different issue.)
Unfortunately, they did a biopsy to confirm a blood test from two years ago, and it came back positive for Crohn’s disease. Now I’ll have to meet with a doctor to find out more about that and treatment options. It explains much about my healthy over my entire life, actually, so I’m not surprised. I’m just worried because their only solution appears to be medication that has potentially fatal side effects. I’m thinking I’m better off leaving it as it is, but we’ll see what they say. Haven’t made the appointment yet. I’ve been putting it off and buried at work.
Thursday, January 23, 2020
Yikes! It’s been how long since I posted here? I need to get something posted. Hang on, we’re going to tackle December in one post.
I started out the month winning big at some mystery events. First was getting a trivia question right at the Sisters in Crime/Mystery Writers of American holiday lunch. I got lucky because the question they asked me was fairly easy. Almost tripped me up until they repeated it. But some of the questions they asked I had no clue about. Then, a few nights later, I went to a mystery trivia night at the Culver City library. The woman who is always on the winning team wasn’t there, and my team won. It was a team effort, too. I didn’t know many of the answers, but fortunately, my teammates did.
Unfortunately, I did spend some of the month sick. The cough I had over Thanksgiving just would not go away. I even ran a fever a couple of days, taking one sick day along the way. But I finally got over it just in time for Christmas.
And yes, I went home for Christmas. I actually took the two days after Christmas off, so I had a good long visit. I was able to leave early enough on Christmas Eve to make the Christmas Eve service. Christmas Day morning was spent at my brother’s new house (it’s still nice), then we went to Mom and Dad’s for the rest of the day. We walked at Spring Lake a couple of times and played some games. It was a very nice visit.
New Year’s Eve was a quiet evening/day. I worked, although I got off early. Went home, went for a run, caught a movie, and was home to ring in the new decade.
And that covers the highlights and lowlights of December.
Friday, December 13, 2019
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
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
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
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.