Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Crazy Busy but Fun Weekend

I was super busy the first weekend of May, but I wouldn’t change a thing.

It started with the ultimate Frisbee beach tournament Saturday morning and early afternoon.  Fortunately, the friends I carpool with and I all had first round byes.  Even with only six teams (and the three of us only one two of them), what are the odds of that?  And my team won!  We only lost one game all season, and we won all the games during the tournament to win the entire thing.  I can’t remember the last time I was on a team with a winning record, much less a team that won the tournament.  The wind was blowing pretty strongly during the finals game, so it wasn’t as fun as it could have been.  But we won!!!

Then that night, I went down to Glendale to see The Importance of Being Ernest at Glendale Centre Theatre.  I love that play.  I’d seen them do it before, and I was delighted they were doing it again.  The cast was wonderful and the laughs were plentiful.  I went with my friends Ann and Angelique.  One of the actresses in it was on a cast recording for the musical Snoopy that I’d bought years ago (before I was even going to GCT).  I finally remembered to bring it with me when she was in the cast, so I was finally able to get it signed!

Sunday started with church as usual, but instead of playing ultimate Frisbee, I headed to the book launch party for Nadine Nettmann’s new book.  I’d actually read it on my way back from Malice, but it was fun to go and hear her talk briefly about it and chat with her.  I had thought that a couple of mutual friends might show up, and I was right.  I spent most of the time talking to RosaLinda and Ellen, which was fun.

RosaLinda was heading over to our friend Christy’s house to watch Once Upon a Time, so I crashed the party afterward and joined them.  That was an unexpected but fun way to end a wild, crazy, busy, and fun weekend.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Malice Domestic 2017

The last weekend of April, I was at Malice Domestic for the second year in a row.  This is the annual convention for writers and readers of the traditional mystery.  The most popular form of the traditional mystery these days is the cozy, you know the type of mystery I read 95% of the time.

The convention is always in Maryland right outside of Washington DC.  I didn’t try to add any days for sightseeing this year, but flew out on Thursday and back on Sunday.  I was also staying at the convention hotel this year, which was so wonderful.  I was leaving my books to get signed in my roommate and popping in there whenever I needed anything.  Yes, I was very spoiled.

Thursday, I did get together with some friends from the Trixie Belden boards who live in the area.  And another Trixie friend was actually coming to the convention, so I had breakfast with her one day and talked to her the next afternoon.

I said I was going to cut down on panels this year, but I didn’t.  There were too many I wanted to go to.  But I still managed to talk to the authors I had hoped to catch.  Some of them were only for a few minutes, however.  I really would have liked to chat with some of them longer.  There just isn’t enough time period.

One highlight was hanging out with a group of mostly authors after the banquet the final night.  We were hanging out chatting until midnight, when security asked us to move since where we were was right outside some rooms.  We weren’t being loud, but it was polite.  I went to bed at that point, which was good since I was trying to make the new author breakfast at 7 the next morning.

I even had three authors and two other attendees on my flight out and back.  We weren’t sitting near each other, but we did hang out chatting in the airport before our flights took off.


I had so much fun it felt like I was only there for one day at most.  It is a lot of money by the time you factor in airfare and hotel, but I really would like to go again.  We’ll just have to see if it works out next year.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

LA Times Festival of Books 2017

This last weekend was the annual LA Times Festival of Books.  Naturally, that meant Angelique and I were there.

It was hot this year (unlike last year where it threatened to rain).  We only went on Saturday, and it was close to 90.  That didn’t keep us from having a fantastic time, however.  We did our usual wander all over the festival, but we mainly haunted the mystery booths so we could talk to authors.

It seemed like more authors were doing only one day or the other this year, so I missed some I would have enjoyed chatting with.  But I’ll see a few of those this weekend at Malice Domestic.  (Flight leaves in the morning!)  Of course, I had fun chatting with those who were there.

Nothing really out of the ordinary happened.  We had fun hanging out and looking at books.  It was a nice, relaxing day.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Word Association for April 25

I'm going to slip in this week's word association before I head to bed tonight.

  1. Improve :: Technique
  2. Brothers :: and Sisters
  3. Crystal :: Ball
  4. Zoo :: Animal
  5. Second :: Place
  6. Sell :: Buy
  7. Death :: Murder
  8. Current :: President
  9. Pain :: Gain
  10. Value :: Money

Monday, April 24, 2017

Bowling for One Week

I can’t remember if I mentioned that I am a sub for bowling this time around instead of being on a team.  That’s actually worked out well with how crazy things have been at work.  I’ve worked late one Thursday and thought I would the next Thursday.  Yes, that’s how crazy things have been.

But this last Thursday, I did get make it to the bowling alley, and I had a blast.  I definitely needed it.  I did my usual start slow and build.  I started with 116, moved to 136, and finished with 138.  I got a lot of spares, but not many strikes.  I seem to not be able to strike much anymore.  Still, I’m not really complaining.

I don’t know when I’ll be back at the bowling alley, since I will be out of town on Thursday and then we hit crazy month end time again at work.  Hopefully, I can make it back sooner rather than later, but we will have to wait and see, I guess.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Two More Wins

Attendance was low at beach league on Saturday.  Some teams only had one sub, and one team was savage (no subs).  We played that team our second game, and they fought hard.  In fact, both teams we played fought hard.  Not that it changed the results.  We won 11-7 in both games.  How’s that for consistency?

I was disappointed, however, since both of the teams we played had people I can match up against, and neither of them showed up.  I was really looking forward to playing some points against them, too.

Still, I was responsible to two of our points in the second game, and both in the first half.  Early on in the game, I threw the disc to a teammate for the score.  Fortunately, he was able to reach behind him and grab it since I threw it a little behind him.  A few points later, he returned the favor, throwing me the disc in the end zone.  This was a perfect throw, however, landing right in my hands.

The weather was absolutely perfect for running around.  It was officially upper 60’s, but it felt warmer than that out on the sand under the sun.  There was a breeze, but it wasn’t enough to be annoying when throwing a Frisbee.  In fact, it was so nice that I stuck around after the games were over.  My carpool buddies weren’t able to make it, so I was on my own.  I’d brought my book, so I sat on the beach and read for a while before coming home.  Bliss!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Two Weeks of Beach League

And now it’s my ultimate Frisbee beach league that I’m not blogging about in a timely manner.  Let’s catch up, shall we?

Our first game on the 1st was against the other undefeated team.  We beat them, and actually by a larger margin than we were expecting.  Ironically, they lost their second game of the day as well, so they went from undefeated to having two losses.

We, on the other hand, won the second game that week as well.  It was against a team that was low on numbers, so they were tired.

Last week, we suffered our first loss.  We were missing our best player, and it showed.  We played well, and the score was close, but we just couldn’t pull it off in the end.  The team that beat us is the team that the two friends I carpool with are on, so that was the silver lining for me.

We did win our second game, however.  It was close at half time, but we pulled away in the second half to win rather easily.  The hardest part of this game was the win.  It had really gotten strong, so one way was much easier to score than the other.  But we did it a couple of times to win by four points.  (In a game to 11, that is a nice margin.)

No real hero moments, but also no real negative moments from these games.  But I’m having fun and enjoying being on a team with a winning record.  And I’m certainly okay with one loss.  It’s good for a team to not be too confident going into a tournament or they get slaughtered.  I’ve seen it happen plenty of times before. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Word Association for April 11th

Been quiet for a couple of weeks again.  Need to do some word association to fix that.

  1. Awkward :: Silence
  2. Reality :: Virtual
  3. Yoda :: Star Wars
  4. Medication :: Allergy
  5. Headache :: Painful
  6. Sensation :: Pleasant
  7. Sneeze :: Allergy
  8. Historical :: Fiction
  9. YouTube :: Video
  10. Polka :: Dance

Can you tell it is allergy season?

Friday, March 31, 2017

Second Week of Beach League

The weekend I was out of town was the annual St. Pat’s Hat ultimate Frisbee tournament.  Yes, if I were in town, I would have played in it, but I had a great time with my family and don’t regret missing it at all.

But that also means I didn’t miss a weekend of beach league!  I was back in Santa Monica for the second weekend last Saturday.

Now that we have teams, we will be playing two games each week.  I was there for the first game and part of the second since I had to leave early to attend a friend’s wedding.

We won the game I was there for, and it looks like we won the second game handily as well.  We were ahead 4-2 when I left, and I think we may have gotten to 11 without them scoring again.  Yikes, right?

Unfortunately, I was scored on once that first game.  I was guarding my guy in the end zone.  He started to zig, I went with them, and then he zagged.  Not much I could do about that.

On the other hand, I did throw a score.  We’d gotten a fast break.  I was all alone partially down the field.  The guy who picked it up passed it to me.  I could see one of my teammates running across the end zone with his defender behind him a step or two.  I did have one person from the other team between me and the end zone, but I was easily able to throw it around him for the score.  It went perfectly – just as I pictured it in my head.  Since that doesn’t always happen, that made me really happy.

Tomorrow, there will be two more games, and I’ll be there for all of both of them.  Can’t wait!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Weekend Away

I got to get out of town briefly the third weekend in March.  My parents had my niece and nephew and they were staying in the Palm Springs area at the trailer park my parents love with wonderful swimming pools.  Being the good uncle I am, I had to go out to visit, right?

We had a wonderful time.  We left the trailer only to go swimming twice a day.  It truly was fabulous.

I drove out on Friday after work.  My brother and sister-in-law came down to join us Sunday night, so I took Monday off so I could spend some time with them.  We only swam once that day, but did go into down for date milkshakes and a round of mini golf.  I got three holes in one while playing mini golf.  I couldn’t believe it!  Unfortunately, I made up for it on other holes and came in third behind my brother and my dad.

I drove back Monday night, and my brother and his family took off for the rest of their vacation Tuesday morning.  So it was short, but it was wonderful.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Word Association for March 29th

This for a little word association.

  1. Aggrivation :: Life
  2. Two-faced :: Batman
  3. Postmark :: Letter
  4. Chip :: Dale
  5. Failure :: is not an Option
  6. Plant :: Grow
  7. Termination :: Fired
  8. Improvise :: Comedy
  9. Course :: Correction
  10. Western :: Cowboy

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Final Winter League Bowling

One week ago tonight was the last bowling night for the winter league.  My team was fourth going into the night, and the teams were playing their nearest competitor for the final standings.  Actually, the bowling alley started out by feeding us dinner, which was nice.  Certainly a bit better than the fast food I was expecting.  Salad and vegetables, even.

So we were playing the third place team.  But depending on how well we did, we could really improve.

I started out lower than I would have liked, but I improved as the night went on.  I went up from 113 to 131 and 145 on the final game.  Ironically, the last game was the only game we lost.  The other team we were playing improved, and their star bowler improved significantly.  It was impressive to watch her bowling.  If only we weren’t playing her.

Actually, the second place team didn’t do much better against the first place team.  Since we were all right there in our win/loss ratios, we wound up getting second.  Even better, we got trophies for second, so I now have two bowling trophies!

Sign ups for the spring league were this last Monday.  Unfortunately, I took the day off.  They also try to rotate in people who haven’t gotten to participate yet.  Between the two, I’m a sub for the spring league.  Based on how things go, I’ll probably get to bowl most weeks, it will just be on a different team each time.  It would be nice to have a team and be able to bowling for standings again, but I’ll get to really meet and interact with more people this way.  And if I’m not bowling?  I can go home early and get a run in on Thursday.  After all, I’ve got to start training for mud runs now that it is spring.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

First Week of Beach League

That’s right, I’m in two leagues at the same time right now.  Saturday was the start of Men’s Beach League.

And yes, it is starting earlier than usual.  I’m not sure why, but I’m not complaining, especially since this is when I usually make it to the beach for the year.  And the weather Saturday was wonderful.  We’ve gotten our first warm weather of the year in the last week.  (Actually, it’s been close to 90 here at home, which is definitely hot for this time of year).  It was just under 70 at the beach.  The wind was stronger than I would have liked, but it wasn’t too bad.  The sun was out when I arrived, but the fog rolled in after about an hour.  Still, it wasn’t too bad.

For the first hour and a half or so, we played pick up while the captains scouted and drafted the teams.  That means we got one actual league game.

And my team won!!!  I know, very, very shocking given my recent history.  The final score was 11-6, I think.  Something like that.  I played three points, and we scored all three points I was in, too.  I even successfully caught and passed on the disc in two of them.

Of course, I have realized just how slow I am, even on the sand.  I wish I were a faster runner.  I can run a ways thanks to my running, but I’m a slow and steady runner, and that’s not good for ultimate.  Still, it was a nice day and I was at the beach.  I’m not complaining.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Two Weeks of Bowling

I’d gotten caught up on my bowling league, and then I suddenly found myself two weeks behind again, so let’s fix that.

I had an excellent week on the 2nd.  I actually got there in time to take a few deep breathes, so I was ready when we started bowling.  My scores reflected it, too, since I bowled 142, 180, and 141.  I was very pleased with those scores.  This is especially true since I really bowled four and a half games that night.  One of my teammates didn’t show up, and so my teammate and I took turns bowling for her.  What was funny was we both had great games, but her scores the first two games didn’t break 100, which is actually fairly typical for her.  The first game, we bowled a 150 for her, which was better than our individual games.

Last week, I didn’t fair quite as well.  I was stressed from work that day and thinking about the busy day I’d have the next day (and it was; I was at work until 8 PM).  But my scores were at least consistent even if I didn’t hit my usual average.  My scores were 118, 115, and 122.  I’m definitely happy that my final score was my best.

This Thursday is the final, at least for this season.  With how attendance has been, I’d be surprised if they do it again, but we shall see.  My team is currently in fourth place, and I don’t see a way we’d win, but I’ve enjoyed my teammates and getting to interact with people on the other team, so from that standpoints it’s definitely a win.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Word Association for March 14th

Here we go with this week's word association.

  1. Acquired :: Business
  2. Helpless :: Feeling
  3. Pirate :: Walk the Plank
  4. Itchy :: Sweater
  5. Neon :: Sign
  6. Primate :: Ape
  7. Single :: Married
  8. Buffy :: Vampire
  9. Storage :: Space
  10. Unpacked :: Moved In

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Word Association for March 8th

Here's this week's word association.

  1. Birthday :: Today (Seriously, today is my birthday)
  2. Habitat :: Bad
  3. Foil :: the Villain
  4. Drowsy :: Sleep
  5. Training :: Job
  6. Career :: Work
  7. Howard :: Big Bang Theory
  8. Keyhole :: Lock
  9. Secret :: Mystery
  10. Camera :: Picture

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Word Association for March 1st

How about we start out the new month with a little word association.

  1. Argue :: Fight
  2. Surprise! :: Plot twist
  3. Telescope :: Moon
  4. Shopping :: Trip
  5. Button :: Hole
  6. Certifiable :: Lunatic
  7. Blind date :: Awkward
  8. Relationship :: Status
  9. Appreciation :: Customer
  10. Station :: Radio

Monday, February 27, 2017

Just One Week of Bowling This Time

What do you know, I just have one week of bowling to talk about this time.

I don’t know what the deal is, but traffic has gotten bad if you are trying to leave work at 5 on the dot.  The first few weeks I had to do that for bowling, it took me 10 to 15 minutes to get to the bowling alley – not bad for that time of day.  Recently, it’s been taking me 20 to 25.  And since we start at 5:30, that leaves me running in and trying to get ready.

I say all that to justify my first game of the way.  Once again, I barely broke 100, hitting 103.  I only got two marks, both spares, and the first of those in the eighth frame.  But I did break 100, so that made me happy.

And I bowled better the next two games.  I bowled a 146 the second game and a 137 the final game, which is much closer to my average.

As a team, we lost the first two games and then won the third.  Those first two games were close.  One more mark from anyone on our team would have won us the games.  However, that third game we won by a wide margin as all three of us had great games.

Yes, I’m still having fun, but I find my sub-par games to be frustrating.  I just hope traffic is better for these last three weeks so I’m not as stressed trying to transition into bowling.

Friday, February 17, 2017

A Month of Bowling

Yes, I’ve still been bowling for the last month.  It’s still a bit hard to get there at 5:30, but it is nice to have a reason to leave at 5 and get into work a little earlier.  More importantly, I’m still having lots of fun.

My scores have been averaging 137, but I want to point out that is an average.  My high (from four weeks ago) was 180.  I have a couple of games where I’ve been lucky to break 100.  Being consistent would be nice.  But I will take these scores.  Especially that 180.  And, since my team was in third going into last night (rankings haven’t been updated yet), I’m happy overall.

Unfortunately, I have a feeling this is the last bowling league my work will sponsor.  There have been big issues with people showing up, and the poor person who organizes it is always scrambling for subs.  One week, my team and the team I was playing were both down a person.  Of course, we got done very quickly that week.

So I am savoring it will I can.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Word Association for February 15th

Here's my word association for the week.

  1. Haunting :: Ghost
  2. Mattress :: Sleep
  3. Speculate :: on the Market
  4. Climb :: Mountain
  5. Diana :: Lynch (character in the Trixie Belden series)
  6. Runner :: Me!
  7. Grim :: Serious
  8. Nightmare :: Scary
  9. Kitty :: Soft
  10. Chrome :: Google

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Word Association for February 8th

No, I haven't completely abandoned this blog.  It just looks like it, right?  Here's this week's word association.

  1. Online :: Internet
  2. Balance :: Beam
  3. Grunge :: Hatred
  4. Beacon :: Light
  5. Laughing :: Happy
  6. Comedy :: Funny
  7. Animated :: Disney
  8. Campaign :: Election
  9. Heather :: Girl
  10. Comma :: Pause

Friday, January 20, 2017

Back to Bowling

I made my work’s bowling league again for the winter league.  They opened it up to more people, and they said they would prioritize those who hadn’t been in the league in the fall, but I still got in.  Actually, a lot of us who bowled last time got in.

I missed the first week, which was last week.  It was the night before a major deadline, so I couldn’t get away.

So last night was my first night with the new league and the new team.  Yep, they mixed things up, and I’m bowling with a couple of people I don’t know.  They are very nice, and we were having fun, so that’s nice.

The teams are three people each this time, so the games go faster.  We are also starting earlier, at 5:30.  It means I get home earlier, which I love, but I was enjoying eating out and reading some before we started last time.  Oh well.

I did my usual jump out to a great score and tapper off.  I got a 155 the first game, including a turkey in the tenth frame, followed by 135 and 116.  I know, I blew it by one pin in that final frame.

I’m looking forward to the next few weeks.  It sure was great to be out there again.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Travels for Work

Just like last year, I had a work trip to close out the year.  I drove back from Christmas with my family and flew out to North Carolina the next day.

I made three stops in the state while I was there, visiting all three of our locations.  And these are not close to each other.  I was driving at least an hour and a half to each location.  Fortunately, I was only trying to visit two in one day.  Then, after visiting the third the next morning, I flew home.  So it was a whirlwind trip with lots of driving and work and not any time to sight see.

On the other hand, I got most of an audio book listened to while I was driving.

I work with our locations in North Carolina, so it was nice to meet these people and see our locations there.  I certainly could have planned my hotels better, but I will fact that into my next trip for sure.  I stayed as far away from the clinics as I could while still being in the same city I think.

And I did have time my first night to eat dinner with a Trixie friend, which was lots of fun.

This also meant that I was out of the office for a week.  Granted, I was working three days (with a holiday and a vacation day in there), but it was still very odd to be out of the office that long since I so rarely miss work period.

But when I got back it was peddle to the metal as we have been closing out the fiscal year as well as the month of December.  Got to love this time of year.  Our deadline is Friday, so I will be very busy until then.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Wonderful Christmas

I’ve been busy for the last couple of weeks, but it’s been good.  It started with a busy but fun Christmas.

Naturally, I drove north to spend time with my family.  I drove up on the 23rd, enjoying my new car the entire time.  It rained about half the way up, but it wasn’t a bad storm.  And my car gets better gas mileage and has a larger tank, so I was able to go almost all the way home before I had to get gas.  In fact, I probably could have gone the entire way up if I wanted to.

I had three full days up there visiting with family.  My uncle and aunt were over for part of the time, and I got plenty of time with my parents, my brother, and his family.  We spent much of Christmas day with my brother’s in-laws which was fun as well.  Plus we spent some time Christmas Eve with good family friends.

We were always doing something, so it wasn’t exactly restful, but it was super fun.  I wouldn’t change any of it at all.  It was so nice getting to spend all that time with people I don’t get to see nearly often enough.