Thursday, December 15, 2016

New Car!

And just like that I have some news.  I bought a new car last night.  I went with a 2016 Honda CR-V, replacing my 2001 CR-V, which I bought in November of 2000.  Hey, if it lasts 16 years, why fix it?

I’ve actually been wanting to replace it for a few years now.  The AC went out about two and a half years ago, and that’s no fun here in Southern California in the summer.  Of course, now it’s winter, so I won’t get to experience the joy of having AC in my car again for a while.  My transmission went out about three years ago, and it was feeling shaky to me again, although my mechanic says it is fine.  And it was shaking pretty badly on the freeway.  All told, I would have had to spend some serious money to get it fixed.

Not as much as I spent on a new car, of course, but it is nice to have something new again.

Plus I have all the news bells and whistles, like Bluetooth and a backup camera.  Not sure how I feel about that last one yet, but I’m sure I will get used to it.

My old car was a pretty green, but they don’t make many green cars anymore, so I went with blue this time.  It’s really pretty as well, but not as nice as green.  I just wanted something other than white/tan/gray, which is what the majority of cars I see are.

So I will be enjoying that new car smell for the next couple of months.  And interest rates are so low thanks to promotions that I won’t be paying much interest over the next few years while I pay it off. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Word Association for December 13th

It's been over two months since I did word association.  I think we need to stop this trend, don't you?

  1. Patients :: Doctor
  2. Intentional :: Decision
  3. Envelope :: Mail
  4. Fear :: Scared
  5. Confidential :: Secret
  6. Mixed up :: Signs (as in Mr. Pine's Mixed Up Signs)
  7. Years :: Behind Us
  8. Branded :: Merchandise
  9. Biography :: Book
  10. Provoked :: Anger

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Pretty Quiet

I’m not holding back on posting.  I haven’t been up to much recently.  I did some Christmas decorating, but then I stalled out.  I really need to get more done tonight.  I’m probably not going to do too much more, but it would be nice to finish it up with enough time to enjoy it.

I’m mostly done with my Christmas shopping as well.  I need to order my aunt’s Kindle books tonight, and then I’ll be done with family.  I have a couple of friends and then I need to figure out what to do for my co-workers this year.  That will be the real challenge.

I looked at new cars for a couple of hours on Saturday.  I think I’m going to go with a Honda CR-V again.  Now to decide if I want to get a 2016 or wait until the redesigned 2017 comes out.

As you can see, my life has been a non-stop thrill ride, which is why I haven’t posted much of anything.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Wonderful Thanksgiving Weekend

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with my family.

I headed up north Wednesday afternoon.  I’ve left then for years, but I was surprised at how light the traffic was.  Usually, it’s flowing but crowded.  It was actually pretty typical for a non-holiday time, and I hit no real traffic around towns like I was expecting.

I spent four full days up there with them.  Thursday, my brother and sister-in-law hosted Thanksgiving like they usually do.  It was them, their two kids, me, my parents, my sister-in-law’s parents, and a family friend.  We’ve been doing this since they moved back to California, so we have it down.  It wasn’t nothing super fancy, but it was a great time of all being together.

I spent Thursday night with them, and had a great time playing with my niece and nephew on Friday.

The rest of the time, I spent at Mom and Dad’s.  Naturally, my brother and his family were other there so I still got to see them.  We played games and just hung out.  It was very nice and relaxing.

I drove home yesterday, avoiding the worst of the traffic on Sunday by doing so.  In fact, there wasn’t really any bad traffic on Monday, so I sailed right through both ways.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Officially the Winners!

My bowling team won our work league on Thursday night.  We thought we had won the week before, but we misunderstood or they changed their minds or something because we wound up finding out on Thursday that we were having our final games of the league that night.

We went into the night in the number one position.  We were tied with one other team, but our total points for the season (the tie breaker) was what pushed us over the top.  We were playing the team we were tied with record wise, so when we won two out of three games, we knew we’d beaten them.

However, over in the other game, one team won all three games, meaning they were tied with us record wise.  Again, it went to the tie breaker, and we have the most points of any team in the league, so again, we won.

This is a very nice change from my recent ultimate Frisbee league experiences where we lose and lose and lose.  Yes, I think the teams wound up being stacked, but I’m not complaining in the slightest.

There is talk we will have another work league in January, and if so, I’m going to try to join.  They will give others priority, but I hope I can make it work because I had a lot of fun.  Plus it was nice getting to know some of my co-workers at the office across town that I rarely if ever interact with.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Thoughts on Last Night

Like many, I am shocked by the results last night.  I’m still trying to process my thoughts on where we are in the country.  I’m hoping by talking through some of my thoughts, I can figure it out.

I’m sure most of you reading this know me to be a conservative Christian.  As a result, I was in the Never Clinton camp since day one.  She is the most corrupt candidate we’ve ever had run for President.  Oh, I know she has never been convicted of anything.  That’s how much power she has.  You only need to pay attention to what has been coming out in the last few months to realize that.

Of course, that presumes that you’ve been watching any news media that would report it.  The news media has proved their bias so blatantly this election cycle it would be funny if there still weren’t people out there who refuse to see it.

But as a conservative Christian, I was also firmly in the Never Trump camp.  That man has made my skin crawl long before he ran for President.  The revelations about him in the last few months were as shocking to me as the revelations about Clinton.  In other words, I expected them.  It is sad that any human being would treat any other human being that way at all ever.  There is no excuse for it.  There is no defense for much of what he has said and done in the past and during this campaign, and I will not try to offer any.

For the first time in my life, I actually voted for a third party candidate.  I could not in good conscious vote for either of them.

Yet I am happy with the results today.  I am happy because voters seem to have seen through the lies that Secretary Clinton has been telling for years and the way that much of the media tried to cover it up for her.

On the other, I am scared.  I don’t trust Trump.  I don’t trust him to be a responsible adult.  Considering he was a Democrat until not too long before he decided to run, I don’t trust him to actually do any of the things he says he will do, and I worry he will do the opposite.  And I’m very upset by the racist incidents that I’m already hearing about.  It is very wrong, and there is no excuse for it ever.

If there is anything good that can come from this, it’s that once again we will have a news media that looks closely at what the President does.  We had that from 2000 to 2008, but we haven’t had that for the last 8 years.  Heck, I’m looking forward to descent and questioning the President being patriotic again as it was at the turn of the century instead of racist as it was for the last 8 years.

Which brings me to the biggest point from all of this.  There have been calls for healing and moving forward.  I’m all for that.  BUT IT MUST COME FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE!!!!!!  No, I don’t mean lie down and let President Trump do whatever he wants.  Believe me, I will oppose him when he says or does something I don’t like.  And I expect there to be plenty of that.

However, I have seen lots of hate coming from the liberals on my Facebook and Twitter feeds.  And I do mean hate.  Name calling and devise language will not help anyone or anything right now.  If we are going to move forward as a country, we have to stop looking at each other as baskets of deplorable and actually sit down and listen to each other and get to know each other.  Yes, Trump has said racist and sexist things.  But that doesn’t mean his supporters are racist or sexist.  It might just mean that they looked hard at Clinton and didn’t like what they saw.  It might be a vote against her as much as or more than a vote for him.  But how will you know that if you scream, shout, and threaten to leave the country instead of trying to find out why your friends voted for him?

It’s actually been very interesting.  I have seen very few gloating messages from my conservative friends.  Yes, I’ve seen some, but compared to the shock, horror, and anger coming from my liberal friends, it has been mild.  Of course, the mature comments I have seen from other liberal friends have given me hope that we can sit down and discuss our difference like rational adults.

Because we need to have many adult conversations about things that are happening in our country and in our world.  Trump is not going to have them or start them.  The news media certainly isn’t going to allow them to happen.  Those who aren’t invested in one side and invested enough in conflict to keep things going.  That means it is up to us.  And that starts with listening to your friends who disagree with you instead of labeling, name calling, and stalking away.

Earlier this year, I listened to the audio version of The Silencing by Kristen Powers.  Yes, she is a Fox News contributor.  However, she is a liberal.  She is a liberal I respect because she is willing to call out liberals when they are wrong, but she has logical reasons for her liberal beliefs.  I don’t always agree with her (in fact I rarely do), but I respect her because I can tell she has thought through what she is saying.  All that to introduce this book, which talks about how the illiberal left is trying to shut down those who disagree with them in our country.  Honestly, I think a lot of what is in this book might be why we saw the results we did last night.  And I’m already seeing it play out anew in the last 24 hours.  If you are interested, here is my review.  I challenge you to read the book (or listen to it like I did) and think about it.  It is possible that someone disagrees with you, has good reasons for it, and isn’t a racist or sexist or any other ist or phobe.  And until we are willing to realize that about each other, we are not going to move forward as a country.

At this point, I am rambling.  We are in for an interesting next four years.  But I do hope that we stop and listen to each other instead of just writing each other off because we disagree.  If that happens, there will be no healing and the divides in our country will only be worse the next time we go through this.

One last thought before I go.  As a people, we need to be praying for our leaders, even and especially when we disagree with them.  But when we agree with them, too.  Our hope is ultimately in God, not in who the President is or isn’t.  And He can change hearts and minds more than anything we say on the internet or face to face can.

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Work Bowling League

Wow, so I just went a month without updating the blog at all.  Let’s play a little catch up, shall we?  And let’s start by talking about the bowling league I joined through work.

There are four teams, all of them co-workers, although most are from the other location in town.  It’s actually been fun to get to meet them.  We play on Thursday nights.  Originally, it was going to be a night I had other commitments, but they switched it up, and needed a last minute replacement, so I jumped in.

Now here’s the crazy thing.  The teams were drawn at random, and I still wound up on a team with all people I knew, two of whom are direct co-workers.

I haven’t bowled for several years, and it’s been fun to be out there bowling again.  My scores have been all over the place, but my average has been 135, which I’m happy with.  High score so far is 187, which I got last week.  Last night, I had a mark in every frame, including closing out the game with a spare and strike in the final frame.  I mostly got spares, but I ended that game with a 183, which I was quite happy with.

The part that is a little frustrating is that everyone has a handicap.  The idea is that it makes it fairer, which it certainly has since all the teams are tied going into the tournament next week.  However, it also means that if one of the weaker bowlers, or especially an entire team, has a good game, there is no way for us to catch them.  Granted, the other team seems to have a strong game when we have a weak game, but it makes it hard to catch up when you are starting 100+ points down.

But that’s a minor frustration.  On the whole, I’ve really been enjoying this.

After the tournament next week, there’s a final week where we are playing as individuals being paired up with someone random.  I’m really looking forward to both weeks.

And if they have another one in the winter, I really hope I can join again.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Word Association for October 5th

I should be in bed, but here I am doing this week's word association instead.

  1. Forgetfulness :: What as I going to do?
  2. Diagram :: Drawing
  3. Inconsiderate :: Rude
  4. Relapse :: Addiction
  5. Jingling :: Coins
  6. Counter :: Space
  7. Backspace :: Mistake
  8. Flush :: Toilet
  9. Awkward :: Silence
  10. Thumb :: Drive

Monday, October 03, 2016

One Busy Weekend, One Quieter Weekend

The last weekend of September was pretty busy.

It all started Saturday morning when I met up with my friends Sue Ann, Heidi, and Angelique for brunch.  We met at a Marie Calendar’s and we sat there and chatted for a couple of hours.  Yes, we ate as well, but it was mostly about the chatting.

Then it was home where I spent a couple of hours finishing up the book I was reading.

Which was appropriate since I then went to a dinner and mystery author talk at one of the libraries in town.  The problem was, I was thinking it started half an hour later than it did, but I was able to get in and there was still plenty of food.  There were several authors I enjoy on the panel, and I bought a book from an author I wasn’t familiar with.  It was a fun night.

That Sunday was the season premiere of Once Upon a Time, and my friend Christy was having her annual party.  I headed over a little early and hung out with my friend Luke beforehand.  The party itself was smaller than the last couple of years, but no less fun.  I really look forward to the events each year.

This last weekend was quieter by comparison.  Saturday was ornament debut at Hallmark, so I was up early and at my local Hallmark store.  Then I came home and went for a run.  The rest of the day was spent on reviews, movies, and a little reading.

Sunday was the usual mix of church, ultimate, and hanging out with friends here in town for Once Upon a Time with a bit of reading mixed in.

As I said, a much quieter weekend overall.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Word Association for September 28th

Here's this week's word association.

  1. Brace :: Walking
  2. Upgrade :: Computer
  3. Run :: Walk
  4. Construction :: Zone
  5. Lazy :: Nap
  6. Email :: Write
  7. Hide :: Seek
  8. Hornet :: Sting
  9. Wonder :: Amaze
  10. Hesitate :: is Lost

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Rest of the Weekend

No, just doing the mud run wasn't enough for my weekend.  I was actually pretty busy last weekend.

For one thing, I didn't come back home after my mud run on Saturday.  Instead I headed to the Burbank/Glendale area and met up my my parents, who were in town for the weekend, and some family friends.  We hung out and visited, had dinner, and then went to Glendale Centre Theatre where another friend joined us to see Anything Goes.  I'd never seen the play before, but I really enjoyed it.  Pretty funny and some very fun song and dance numbers.  I was actually pleasantly surprised that I didn't get too tired to enjoy the day.

Sunday, I spent the day with my parents.  No ultimate, but we did go to church and then back to their trailer to play games.  It was a very fun day.

They swung through town on their way back from a longer trip.  They knew about the mud run before they decided to come, after all, I had signed up for it back in February.  The play and everything there came together after they decided to come, however, which worked out well.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Word Association for September 21st

It's time for some word association, don't you think?

  1. Flat :: Apartment
  2. Machine :: Made
  3. Arthritis :: Painful
  4. Forks :: Dinner
  5. Task force :: Work
  6. Beads :: Decorative
  7. Striped :: Bed
  8. Dumpster :: Garbage
  9. Piggy :: Bank
  10. Badge :: Ranger

Monday, September 19, 2016

Survivor Mud Run 2016

Time for a little catch up.

Not much happened the first couple of weeks of the month.  My weekends were quiet, which was nice.  I’ve started my fantasy football league for the season, and I’ve won the first two weeks, which is shocking.  We’ll see how things go as the season progresses.

But Saturday.  Saturday was my last mud run of the year.  I know, already?  But my October runs were either early this year or aren’t happening any more.  And it was back down to Lake Elsinore for the Survivor Mud Run.

I’ve been doing this one for several years, and I’ve slowly been watching the lake level drop.  It had dropped so far this year that they didn’t have us doing anything in the lake – no slide into the lake, no lake walk, and no cleaning off in the lake afterwards.  But that’s not all that was missing – they only had a couple of obstacles that weren’t mud related.  They still had a ton of obstacles, but they were all mud pits.  As in climb in, slog through, climb out.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love mud as much as the next guy doing a mud run.  And they have nice thick mud here, which is always fun.  But it got a bit boring.  I like a little more variety than that.

It was a hot day, too, so the car ride down and back was warm since I don’t have a working AC in my car.  But I finished a great book on CD, so that made it more pleasant.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Gladiator at the Rose Bowl 2016

The last weekend in August, I hit the Gladiator Rock n Run at the Rose Bowl.  I was actually surprised it was this early in the year since it is usually in October.  But I figured with it being that early, I wouldn’t have to worry about being cold at the start.  In fact, I figured I’d have to worry about the heat.

I was wrong.

We actually had a cool front move in, and it was foggy that morning.  I did warm up when I started to run, naturally, but the first time I hit the mud I cooled right off.

But that didn’t keep me from having fun.  The 10K option was back this year, and that’s the one I did.  I always enjoy the back half of the course.  After I’d signed up, a friend wanted to do it with me, and he signed up for the 5K.  I was hoping to try to meet up with him where the two courses come back together.  He started in a later wave, and it wound up working out perfectly.  I waited for about 5 minutes and there he was.

I do feel some of their obstacles are getting too big.  For example, their slant wall was almost vertical, which is very hard to climb with wet and muddy shoes.  Likewise, the ropes get slick and are almost impossible (not that I could climb them anyway, but still).  However, I just skip those obstacles and move on.

Because, the course is still fun over all.  As I said, I love the back 3 miles, so it is worth getting up early to enter the early waves and do that part of it.  I also enjoy getting to be in the Rose Bowl.  I actually did a little training on stairs this year, so my legs weren’t quite as bad as they usually are after we do the stairs there three times.  They were still bad, but not as bad.

It was a fabulous day.  I just can’t quite get over that cool weather, however.  Fall is coming much too quickly for my tastes.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Word Association for August 31

Looks like it's time for this week's word association.

  1. Electrical :: Outage
  2. Glasses :: Sight
  3. Comics :: Laugh
  4. Satellite :: TV
  5. Tonight :: Show
  6. Sweater :: Warm
  7. Clipboard :: Survey
  8. Unglued :: Mess
  9. Plaid :: Scarf
  10. Upsetting :: News

Friday, August 26, 2016

An Announcement

I’ve been giving it some serious thought over the last few months, and I have reached a very important decision.  Given the current state of politics in America, I have concluded the only solution is for me to throw my hat into the ring.  Yes, I am running for President of the United States.

And here is my first campaign promise.  I promise to become corrupted by the power.  I will give the biggest and best jobs to my friends.  (Look at that, an honest politician!)

Here is my platform:

In order to increase the job force, work days will be lowered to six hours a day.  This will create the need to hire more people to do the work that is currently being done.  Those extra two hours a day will be used exclusively for reading.  If you do not wish to read, you may continue to work your full eight hour shift.  Those who regularly read mysteries will get an extra half hour off.

The Trixie Belden Mysteries series will be required reading in all third and fourth grade classes.  To help facilitate that, all 39 original books will be reprinted, and new books will be published written by people who love this characters picked by me.

Ultimate Frisbee will be made the official sport of the United States.  All other sports at all levels will be disbanded immediately and those resources used to promote this sport.  Former professional athletes will not be allowed to play professional ultimate.

The first Saturday of every month will be Disney movie day.  Every resident of the United States will watch at least one movie released by Disney Studios or a subsidiary they own.  (This includes Pixar, Lucas Film, and Marvel Studios.)

The 25th of every month will be observed as a partial Christmas day.  While it will not be a holiday, all radio stations will play Christmas music for that day.  Christmas movies will be shown on TV.  No gifts for Christmas are to be exchanged except in December.  However, Christmas decorations are appropriate to be displayed if you so desire.

To help facilitate physical fitness, all those who wish to participate in mud runs will have a one run credit on their taxes each year.

I am still working on the rest of my platform.  Feel free to post suggestions.  Naturally, I reserve the right to accept and claim credit for or reject your suggestions.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Word Association for August 26th

Here you go - this week's word association.

  1. Passive :: Aggressive
  2. Crumbs :: Bread
  3. Grave :: Mistake
  4. Believe :: the Truth
  5. Stifle :: Creativity
  6. Fish :: Water
  7. Crunch :: Sit up
  8. Bonus :: Points
  9. Flat :: Tire
  10. Bubbled :: Envelope

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tournament Time

I really had a good time at the ultimate Frisbee tournament on Saturday.

For one thing, it was nice to be here in town.  I knew where I was going right away, and I didn’t have to worry about that or even really worry about traffic getting there.

We as a team were more relaxed as well.  We were finally more focused on having fun instead of winning.  It helped us with our win on Tuesday night last week, but it didn’t help us with the tournament.

We lost our first game, which was expected.  We were 14th playing the 3rd ranked team.  Actually, everyone was surprised when we were up by 2 at one point before finally losing by 3 or 4.

We won our next game, which was a surprise, and quite handily.

Then we lost the final game.  We played a short game and fell behind and couldn’t catch up.

But with the more relaxed attitude, it was fun.

And, while the weather was hot, it’s wasn’t overbearing.  I mean, this is August in So Cal, so we should expect it to be hot, but last year’s tournament was definitely hotter.

I even stayed longer at the party than I usually do.  I was chatting with some people I’d met that day from other teams.  I was having a great time, so I stayed and talked.  I just wish they hadn’t turned up the outside music since it made it hard to do that.

Of course, I went to my ultimate pickup game on Sunday.  There’s no such thing as too much ultimate, right?

Friday, August 19, 2016

Word Association for August 19th

Here's this week's word association.

  1. Hiding :: Place
  2. Grip :: Strength
  3. Sticky :: Situation
  4. Games :: Olympic
  5. Tunnel :: Drive
  6. Japan :: Island
  7. Super :: Mario
  8. Map :: Navigate
  9. Costume :: Party
  10. Secret :: Hiding

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Ending on a Good Note

Last night was my final summer league regular game for the year.  And we won!

It was a close game, but we were ahead the entire time.  We started out ahead, and they never caught up to us.  We were never ahead by more than 2 points the entire night, but we were ahead.  The lights went out when the score was 12-11, so we didn’t get a full game.  But we won!!!!

That puts the team at 3 wins for the year, and we aren’t in dead last place.  Both of those things are very huge accomplishments for my teams, and I’m thrilled.

And to show how thrilled about it I am, after our last game on Friday, I was debating about just quitting on the rest of the season and quitting ultimate period.  We had a lousy game, and I just couldn’t take it anymore.  Then this happened, and I was back on cloud 9.

The one thing that kept me from quitting is that the tournament is this Saturday, and it’s actually pretty close to home.  After driving over an hour to every tournament I’ve played in, this is wonderful news.  It looks like our first round isn’t until 10AM, and I could leave as late as 9:30 and still get there on time.  If I’m smart I will leave earlier than that.  We’ll see what happens Saturday morning.  But how could I quit when the tournament was that close.

I’m still debating what I will do about ultimate long term, but I’m at least excited for Saturday.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Word Association for August 4th

Quick.  No one's watching.  Let's slip in this week's word association.

  1. Substandard :: Wiring
  2. Rude :: Expression
  3. Equality :: Good
  4. Smile! :: Picture
  5. Presidential? :: Not this year
  6. Fish :: Swim
  7. Cloudy :: Rain
  8. Wondering :: Puzzling
  9. Thought :: Bubble
  10. Calculator :: Math

Monday, August 01, 2016

Back from Family Vacation

Usually, when I don’t update my blog for a couple of weeks, I come back with something like “I didn’t mean to be gone so long.”  This time, I really did mean to be gone this long.

See, I just got back from a family vacation.  I was gone just almost two weeks.  We went on an Alaska cruise followed by a few days into the interior of the state, through Denali National Park and ending in Fairbanks.

We didn’t have the best weather.  We had sun and the beginning and end of the trip, but the rest of the time it was overcast, foggy, and threatened rain if not actually raining.  Fortunately, we didn’t get much real rain – at least when we wanted to be outside.  The last couple of days did clear up and we got some sun.  In fact, it was almost 80 my last full day there.

This was my first cruise, and that part was great.  We didn’t have to worry about much, and it was fun to tour a location and then be someplace new the next morning.  All of life should be like that, with the boring parts happening while you sleep.

Plus I got to spend almost two weeks with my family.  My parents and my brother and his family were all there, so I got to be Uncle Mark for two weeks.  That’s always lots of fun.  We flew home on my niece’s birthday, so I got to see her on her birthday for the first time in years (if ever).

We got to see lots of animals.  We saw Orcas and Humpback whales on our whale watching trip.  We saw bald eagles, foxes, grizzle bears, moose, and caribou.

Of course, now I’m back in the real world.  I’ve got up on blog promotional stuff for my reviews and am working on next week’s posts.  And I got back in time for our next month end at work, so I had to hit the ground running.  But it was completely worth it.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Summer League Update

Time to update you on how summer league is going.

There have actually been three games since the last time I blogged about it.  I missed one of them thanks to my business trip, but we won, and by a decent margin.

Unfortunately, we’ve lost the last couple of games, so our record is now 2-4.

I don’t remember all the details of the game a couple weeks ago, but it never seemed that close to me.

The game this week started out well.  We actually were ahead 5-3 at one point, but then we let them take the lead and we never really challenged them for the win.  We did make it to 12 points before they beat us, but we still lost.

I had my share of drops in both games, but I also had moments when I got the disc and passed it on successfully.  I was heavily involved in a couple of points in this week’s game and mostly successful at it, which was good.

We’re only about half way through the season, so there’s still time to work up to a break even record.  We’ll see if we can get there or not.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Word Association for July 14th

Quick, let's sneak in this week's word association.

  1. Devastated :: Loss
  2. Hello :: Goodbye
  3. Agency :: Detective
  4. Guide :: Tour
  5. Air :: Breath
  6. Expectation :: Met
  7. Click :: Mouse
  8. Result :: Test
  9. Member :: Club
  10. Infertile :: Baby

Monday, July 11, 2016

Good 4th of July Weekend

When left we left the saga of my life, I’d just returned from a business trip to Nashville on Friday the 1st.  That got me back in time for the long 4th of July weekend.

And I had a great weekend.  Saturday, I hung out all day with some friends and their 4 kids.  I hadn’t seen them for several months, and it was great to catch up and play some with the kids.  Plus I got lunch and dinner!  Seriously, though, it was a nice, relaxing day.

Sunday was church and hanging out with some other friends in the evening.  I tried to play ultimate Frisbee, but no one else showed up, which was a bummer.  I also got some reviews written and scheduled over on my review blog.

Monday, I did get some ultimate in.  While I didn’t set an alarm, I woke up in time for the morning game, which was a lot of fun.  From there, I headed home and did a bunch of stuff around the condo, laundry and other “fun” chores like that.  So it’s not exactly going out and celebrating a holiday, but it was nice to get those things done.  Also, Rory came over to look at the place one more time before he decided to move it.

Yep, I have two roommates again.  And I wasn’t even looking for a second roommate this time.  God definitely has a sense of humor after all the years I spent worrying about having two roommates.

Then I went back to work and hit the ground running.  It’s month end time after all, so I have deadlines to meet.  But the time off was very good.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Business Trip to Tennessee

One reason for no posts last week was that I was out of town.  Last Tuesday, I headed to Nashville for work.  It was time for our bi-annual inventory, and I went to visit the clinics I work with.

There are four in the Nashville area, and I got to hit up all four of them.  It’s always nice to put some faces with the names of those I work with on a regular basis but have never met.  And the work isn’t that bad because it’s something different.  Plus we spend some time looking at financials.

Since I was working most of the time, I didn’t get to play tourist too much, but I did get a little bit of that in.  The first night, I drove by the Grand Old Opry.  One night, I had dinner with a Trixie friend and her husband.  And I left late on Friday, so I had time to go to The Hermitage, Andrew Jackson’s home, for a few hours.  I also drove by the state capital building and walked around the Parthenon.  I would have loved to be able to go inside, but I needed to get back to the airport for my flight and it would have cost money.  Next time, right?

Plus I got to eat at Cracker Barrel.  I’ve heard about the restaurant for years, so that was fun.

And I finished 3 books on the trip.  It’s a wonder what hours of uninterrupted reading time while on planes will do for you, isn’t it?

I got back in time for a nice, three day weekend, so all told I was out of the office for a week.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

ROC 2016

I’ve fallen behind again, so it’s time to start catching up.

I completed my three mud runs in June on the 25th.  Okay, so the last one was really an obstacle run, but I always enjoy the Ridiculous Obstacle Challenge.

This time, it was in south LA County where the local Soccer team plays, which also happens to be next to a college.  They had set up all over the place, so I think we actually had a full 5K this time.  Last year, it was just weaving around a parking lot, and we definitely had that to start with before we started wandering around the complex.

As always, the obstacles were wonderful.  They are giant and inflatable, so there is lots of bouncing.  And they have a few different variations on water slides.  All told, it is just a ton of fun.  I did skip the new one where you climb up in a tower only to jump down.  It probably wasn’t that high, but my fear of heights decided to let me skip that one.  Not that I tried that hard.

It was nice that there was so much water since it was a roasting hot day.  I wore a shirt, something I don’t often do, and let it soak up the water to help keep me cool.  I didn’t even change for the ride home, and I was almost dry by the time I got home, too.

Despite the heat, this was a really fun day.  I will definitely be back to do this one again no matter where it is in the future.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Summer League Week Three

We won!!!!!!

Wednesday night was our third game.  And just in case you missed the news, WE WON!!!!!!

Actually, we started out to a quickly lead at 2-0.  Then we pretty much traded points in the first half until it was 8-5.

It was the second half where they started their comeback.  They chipped away at our lead until it was 13-13.  The 13-13 point was incredibly long.  We’re talking major turn over after major turn over.  Finally, we got the point.

Games are to 15, win by two, cap at 17.  We kept trading points.  Fortunately, we were the ones to score first because the final score was 17-16.  Yes, we won!  Meanwhile, the lights stayed on late for us, which I really appreciated when the game was over.  Mind you, I was hoping we’d get the lights to go out every time we were ahead.

I played quite a few points in the first half, not as many in the second half.  There was one guy they always put in against me, and I was able to get the disc a few times and pass it on.  One turnover, he jumped on someone else, and I was poached pretty much the rest of the point.  I didn’t score, but I was helping move the disc down the field.

Unfortunately, I got my first turnover of the season.  It was a nice, easy throw, and I dropped it.  And they turned around and score off of that.  However, considered I’ve dropped one disc after three games, I’m pretty happy with that as well.

Yes, I was low after that first game, but I’m glad I stuck around because it’s been fun.  And I’m so encouraged from our win.  I hope there are more in our future this season.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Irvine Lake Summer of Mud 2016

Saturday was the second of 3 runs this month.  Fortunately, it wasn’t quite as hot then as it is today (111 according to my phone).  But it was close.  Upper 90’s to over 100 depending on where you were.

This was Irvine Lake, which I usually do in the spring.  I didn’t want to sign up for their “spring” run this year, which was the end of February, because I was worried about the weather.  Turned out that was a beautiful weekend.  But I signed up for this one instead.

The start of the race as in a different location than normal, which really through me.  But we still ran along much of the normal loop.  This is a run known for the volume of mud they usually had, but they had less of it than normal this year due to the drought.  While that is disappointing, I completely understand and respect that.

I’d gotten a stain on my white dress shirt, and I’d been saving it for this run.  I got lots of comments on it before the race, and it was very muddy by the end of the race.  There may have been less mud, but there was still enough to get muddy.

Plus they still had the mud slide.  That’s one of my favorite parts of this particular run, so I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest.

I must have been part of a crowd.  I didn’t feel like it, but I had to wait in line for the mud slide (totally worth it) and for the showers afterward.  However, any other time I looked at those things, they didn’t have many people if anyone waiting for it at all.  Go figure, right?

After the fun of the run, I got to visit my friends Chris and Erin and Joy and Christopher.  We met up at Chris and Erin’s new house.  We had a late lunch and played games.  I was about to leave when we decided to watch Minions, which I hadn’t seen yet, so I stuck around.  I didn’t get home until after 11, but it was a great day.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Summer League Games 1 and 2

It’s the second week of June, which means we are already two weeks into another ultimate Frisbee league.  This time, it’s Summer League.

And my team is off to a consistent start – we’ve had a final score of 7-15 both games.  Yep, so far I’m on a team that is losing.  Augh!!!  Is it too much to ask for a few wins in a season?  Please?

That first game was rough for me.  I only played two points, and after getting scored on by a guy who took off and I couldn’t stick with, I never stepped back on the field.  Between that and losing, I was depressed.  So depressed, it thought about quitting and it took me about a day to get over it.

Fortunately, I had a much better second game.  It helped that this was Chuck’s team.  Chuck and I have been matching up against each other since I started playing in 1999, and I love guarding him since we are very similarly skilled.  I played more points than I normally do, too, since we both wanted to play.

That first point I was in, I got the disc multiple times, successfully passing it on before we scored.  That felt so good.  I can’t even tell you how amazing that felt.  I was never as involved in a play again, although I did get it and pass it on a couple more times.  In fact, I never had a turn over.  And Chuck only got it once, although that was because his team didn’t throw it to him, not because I was that good on defense.

As a team, we did better the second half of the first game and the first half of the second game.  Now, if we could just put the two halves together, we might be a contender.

My team is really nice.  I knew my captains already, which always makes me feel good – they knew what they were getting/stuck with when they got me.  I’ve gone out to the bar we hang out at after both games, something my team hasn’t wanted to do for a couple of seasons, and I was having so much fun this week I stayed until almost midnight.  That made for a long day the next day, but I had fun.

Our next game is Wednesday.  Hopefully, we’ll get one in the win column.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Camp Pendleton Mud Run 2016

Saturday, I kicked off June with one of my favorite mud runs – the Camp Pendleton Mud Run.  This is my seventh year in a row doing it, so obviously I like it.

They’ve added a 5K distance, but I continue to do the 10K distance.  After all, after I drive two hours one way down there, I’m going to spend as much time as possible doing the race.  Yeah, I still run it, but I do so many 5K mud runs it’s nice to do something longer.  Plus it makes me train more, which is always good.

They added a few new elements this year, mainly involving us carrying things out and back.  When I first started, it was a run for the first half, so it is nice to break it up more.  They keep adding more elements every year.

Of course, there is mud – four pits along the way, three of them in the back half.  It’s always fun to roll through the mud and see muddy I can get.

The course is beautiful.  Yes, it’s dry, although the burned portions are beginning to grow back.  No new trees, but bushes, and it’s not nearly as obvious where it burned out a couple of years ago.  Anyway, I enjoy the hills and the views.  There’s something special about being out in nature like this for the run.  Plus, it’s a rare opportunity to be on a military base.  It may be the only one I’ve been on.

I couldn’t have asked for a better day weather wise.  I was worried when I got up because my hotel was foggy, but the sun was coming out by the time I got on base.  It was perfectly sunny and in the lower 70’s.  Warm enough that the mud felt nice but not too hot.

Of course, afterward, I went into Oceanside and grabbed lunch at Pit Stop, a restaurant that Ian introduced me to a couple of years ago.  Their Chicken Strip Wrap is so delicious.

On the way home, I stopped by Downtown Disney for a little pin shopping.  I wound up finding some I wanted to buy.  No fun new ornaments, but there was a mug I had to get as well.

I made another stop on the way home – a LA Aviators game.  This was the first of their games I’ve been to this season.  It was a great game, with the Aviators pulling out a win in the final quarter of the game.

All told, Saturday was a very tiring day, but it was a great day.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Word Association for June 2nd

I should be in bed, but here I am doing this week's word association instead.

  1. Trailer :: Fun
  2. Marvel :: Comics
  3. Socks :: Shoes
  4. Clump :: of Clay
  5. Pick :: Ax
  6. Yellow :: Curtains
  7. Punished :: Wrong
  8. Brass :: Ring
  9. Splatter :: Paint
  10. Parts :: Car

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Fun Memorial Day Weekend

You’ll notice I was pretty radio silent last week.  That’s because not too much happened.  It was a very quiet weekend at home, and a pretty standard week of work/reading/reviewing.  I did get out and do more this last weekend.  It was a long weekend, after all.

In fact, the weekend started a little early since I got to leave work early on that Friday.  I used the extra time to go see Alice Through the Looking Glass.  I wasn’t holding out much hope for this movie, but I wound up liking it.  Really no connection to the books other than character names, but it was enjoyable.

Saturday, my church had a picnic at a park here in town I didn’t even know existed.  Apparently, it isn’t usually open to the public, but we got to go in and enjoy the grounds.  It was a great day.

Sunday was the usual, church, ultimate Frisbee, and then some TV time with some friends.  Since Once Upon a Time has ended for the season, we are watching Big Bang Theory at the moment.  Ultimate Frisbee turned out to have numbers too low to really play, which was disappointing, but the weather outside was absolutely gorgeous.  I wish we’d had more because it was a great day to play.

Monday, I got a good dose of disc sports, but disc golf instead of ultimate Frisbee.  I met up with some of my ultimate Frisbee friends, and we wound up playing a couple of rounds at the course in Sylmar.  My lack of distance throwing continued to be a problem for me, but the company was fun.  The down side is that I got very sunburned.  I thought I’d be okay in the shade when I remembered it.  Of course, I also was only counting on playing one round, not two.  Being out in the sun for 5 hours will leave you sun burned for sure.

In between all of that, I started on my annual season of Smallville.  I’m up to season 9, and I think I’m going to go ahead and watch season 10 this summer as well.  Usually, I have the season I’m watching mostly finished between the end of the regular TV season and the start of the summer TV season.  Not this year.  There really was no break.  Heck, Royal Pains started their final season before everything was even over.  But I will get through it as best I can while trying to get some extra reading in.  I did that this weekend.  I finished one book Saturday morning and read another one over the next few days.  I read most of it on Monday, finishing it before I went to bed.

Given all that, there was still so much I wanted to get in that I didn’t.  I need another couple of days off!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Word Association for May 26th

Time to get in this week's word association.

  1. Disdain :: Hatred
  2. Ridiculous :: Situation
  3. Staple :: Office supplies
  4. Junk :: Too much stuff
  5. Sally :: Nightmare Before Christmas
  6. Satire :: Funny
  7. Calculate :: Add
  8. Remove :: Block
  9. Swollen :: River
  10. Helpful :: Advice

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Word Association for May 19th

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

  1. Relevant :: to the Discussion
  2. Fester :: Wound
  3. Moving :: Van
  4. Bubble :: Blowing
  5. Skyline :: City
  6. Purchase :: Books
  7. Strange :: Behavior
  8. Sticky :: Situation
  9. Haircut :: Clippers
  10. Package :: Delivered

Monday, May 16, 2016

Men’s Beach Tournament

So Saturday was the Men’s Beach League Tournament.  It pretty much went as expected.  Translation: We lost both of our games.

We had the lowest turnout of any of the teams, at least as far as I saw.  We had four subs the first game and three the second.  When I’m one of those subs (since I’m a slow runner) and the other team has a full field of subs plus some, you are in trouble.

But both games were hard fought.  We never just gave up but played each game as hard as we could.  Want proof?  I was having trouble staying awake to read at 6 PM that night.  Yes, I was that exhausted.

And we had fun.  I mean, seriously, we were playing ultimate on the beach in beautiful weather.  What’s not to love?

I got a very light burn that I’m hoping will turn into a tan.  However, it will turn into a very fun tan line since it clearly shows I was wearing a tank top.

I really would like to be on a team that wins occasionally.  Heck, would it be that much to ask for to be on a team that wins half their games?  But I wouldn’t have skipped this season had I known how it would turn out.

Now, to find reasons to get to the beach other times.  I really need to go to the beach more often.

Monday, May 09, 2016

Savage Beach

This last Saturday was the last regular week of men’s beach league for the year.  And my team only had five guys show up.  We play five on the field at a time, so that meant we were playing savage.  In fact, I showed up late, so we were playing down a man and savage when I showed up.

The first game started our relatively close.  In fact, we took half, and then we went up 7-5.  But that’s when we ran out of gas.  We didn’t score another point for the rest of the game.

The second game was against another savage team.  Unfortunately, they’d had a while to rest up before we played them, so we were more tired than they were.  We got 3 points before they got to 11.

But I will say what I’ve been saying all season – I was on the beach.  The weather was nice.  It was partly cloudy and a very slight breeze.  In fact, it was so nice I headed down toward the water and sat there reading until I finished my book.  I figured, I wanted to finish it that day one place or another, and the beach was a nicer place to do that than my living room.

This coming weekend is the tournament.  Fortunately, we could still win the entire thing.  We’d have to play very differently if that were to happen, but it is a distinct possibility.

Friday, May 06, 2016

Malice Domestic

The rest of my trip, I was at Malice Domestic, a mystery convention dedicated to cozy mysteries, which is the kind of mystery I like to read.  I just posted a long post about it on my review blog, so I’m going to direct you over there if you want to read about it.

Instead, I’ll talk here about some of the down points, like my hotel room.  I wasn’t staying at the conference hotel, but instead stayed half a mile away.  It wasn’t a bad walk at all, and I didn’t mind.  However, they have one of those heating options that is either hot or cold, and they’d switched it to AC before I arrived.  My room was cold that first night.  They didn’t turn on the heat again until late in the second day I was there, but it had warmed up significantly before I went to bed, which was fantastic.

The flight home was an adventure as well.  I had two carry-ons coming home, my normal backpack and the bag I’d gotten at registration.  I was trying to avoid having to ship books home.  They plane home was packed, and they didn’t have room for all the carry-ons.  Guess who was stopped when he was boarding the plane for having two carry-ons.  Yep.  So I checked the bag full of books.

That would have been a brilliant plan, expect we hit a huge thunderstorm in Chicago, where I had a transfer.  It delayed us from leaving for an hour, and when I arrived in LA, I discovered that a few of my books were wet.  I had to talk to them to make a claim in that case, which delayed me so much that I missed a shuttle back to where I’d parked my car.  All told, I didn’t get home until 2:30AM Monday morning and had to be at work that day.  Yes, I was a bit slow and fuzzy, but I made it through the day.  And, in even better news, I think my books will dry out without any real damage, so that’s good as well.  They weren’t wet enough to be ruined, but they certainly aren’t in perfect shape any more.

Yes, this is a complaining post.  But really, go see the other post and you’ll see that I did have a fantastic time.  I had some complications along the way, but overall it was a great trip.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Word Association for May 4th

Here's this week's word association.

  1. Destroy :: Villain
  2. Recipe :: Dessert
  3. Condemn :: No Condemnation (song by Lisa Bevill I'm listening to right now)
  4. Hallucinate :: Mushroom
  5. Blurry :: Glasses
  6. Notification :: Facebook
  7. Version 2.0 :: Upgrade
  8. Moist :: Toilette
  9. Stagnate :: Water
  10. Disaster :: Movie

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Day in DC

I was out of town for much of last week.  I started out by flying across the country on Wednesday, so I could spend a day in Washington DC.  Yeah, there is so much more to see than you can possibly see in one day, but that was all the time I really could spare.

I was also spending that time with Trixie friends.  Wednesday night, I had dinner with Jenn and Mary.  Then Thursday, Jenn was my tour guide for the day in the city.  Annette joined us for the morning, which included a tour of the Capital and then some time in the Library of Congress.  Next, we met up with Aleta for lunch at the American Indian Museum before Jenn and I went to the American History Museum.

Yeah, we managed to crowd in quite a bit, didn’t we?

The downside of the day was that it was raining, and I thought I was getting sick.  Fortunately, I bounced back so I wasn’t feeling sick the rest of my trip, but it did put a damper on the day.

The down side of all this was that they were working on much of what we saw.  There was scaffolding around the outside and the inside of the Capital.  They were relocating exhibits in the American History Museum.

Still, it was a lot of fun and good to spend the day there.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Beach League Week 4

It’s official – we are now 0-7.  Yep, I’m leading with the outcome, we lost both of our games again this week.  How I wish it weren’t so.

We actually started out up in the first game by 2-0, and it was 4-2 at one point.  But then the wind picked up and we couldn’t really get it together.  We lost 7-11 or something like that.

In the second game, we were playing the dominate team in the league, the team that drafted some unknowns late in the process and got lucky with outstanding players.  We lost to them 4-11, which is better than the last time we played them (3-11) and the first team to play them that day (1-11).

Still, I felt I had a good day.  I caught a score and assisted with a score in the first game.  I wasn’t scored on easily during the times I was on the field.  It felt good.

As I mentioned, it was windy most of the day, which was a bummer, but it was warm and the sky was perfectly blue.  Plus, I was at the beach.  It would be nice to win upon occasion, but at least the location and weather were pleasant.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Word Association for April 25th

I thought I'd start out the week with some word association for something different.

  1. Delay :: Project
  2. Knock knock :: Who's There?
  3. Pointless :: Post
  4. Crook :: Arrest
  5. Rating :: 5 Stars
  6. Orange :: Citrus
  7. Update :: Edit
  8. PG-13 :: Movie
  9. Routine :: Questions
  10. Werewolf :: Full moon

Friday, April 22, 2016

Beach League Week Three

I missed week two of beach league to go to the Festival of Books, but I was back last Saturday.  It was a gorgeous day – upper 70’s, a stiff breeze but nothing too bad, and beautiful blue sky.  Couldn’t have asked for a better day.

Well, maybe if we’d win a game.

Yes, we lost both of our games again this Saturday.  The score wasn’t super close in the first game, although we all did come back from a 1-6 deficit at half time.  The second game was closer, but we were never really ahead.

The highlight for me was the second game.  Chuck was on that team, and we always have fun guarding each other since we are similar in speed and stamina.  Of course, he’s 30 years older than I am, so what does that say about me?  There’s was one point where I was on defense where he was running away from me and getting the disc at will.  Fortunately, his teammate over threw him in the end zone, so I wasn’t scored on.  The best part, however, was that we got the disc backed and hucked it to someone near our end zone.  While he wasn’t quite in, I had taken off running and was by myself in the end zone for a score.  Something like that always makes me feel so good.

Tomorrow is another day of league, and I’m hoping we can finally come away with a win.  Either way, I’ll be at the beach, so it’s hard to complain too loudly.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Word Association for April 20th

Here's this week's word association.

  1. Professional :: Liability (Can you tell I work with a bunch of doctors?)
  2. Liquid :: Water
  3. Thrusting :: Engine
  4. Button :: Hook
  5. Late :: Me
  6. Binge :: Watch
  7. Trail off :: Sentence
  8. Comic book :: Hero
  9. Large quantity :: Bulk
  10. Fabulous :: Outstanding

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Down and Dirty 2016

Sunday the 10th was my first mud run of the year.

Down and Dirty was back in town (literally), and I signed up.  I thought I was going to do it with a friend, but he wasn’t able to make it after all, so it was just me.  And it was cooler than I would have liked, but not so cold as to be unpleasant.

The course was the same as always, which is to say fun.  I still hate the one giant hill they have us go up near the half-way point, but other than that, they’ve got some very fun obstacles.

And I can’t complaint about the distance.  It’s about 30 minutes from home, one of two I do that are so nicely close.

This was also the end of an era.  After the run, I donated my mud run shoes, the only shoes I’ve done mud runs in for 5 years.  They had a lot of holes in the top and I couldn’t see them lasting too much longer.  But not to fear, I have several pairs of old running shoes around the condo, and I will be putting them into service as mud runs shoes starting with my next mud run.  I’ve got three lined up in June, and I may slip one in May before then.

Friday, April 15, 2016

LA Times Festival of Books – 2016

As I mentioned Wednesday, I went to the LA Times Festival of Books this last Saturday.  It was cloudy and threatened rain all day, although it didn’t rain as much as they predicted it might.  It poured for about 10 minutes at one point, and sprinkled a little off and on, but nothing much worse than that.

The day started out with a pleasant surprise when I found an author I thought was going to be there on Sunday only was there.  Fortunately, I put his books in my car just in case, so I dashed to my car (literally) and back, bought his new book, and got all three signed all within 15 minutes.

All that was before Angelique showed up, too.

The rest of the day was spent wandering around with her and talking to mystery authors.  We pretty much spent the time hanging out in the mystery section chatting.  While the festival isn’t nearly as great as it used to be, it is still fun and a great chance to find out what our favorite authors are up to.

The rain definitely kept the crowds down, although it was a nice change to not be roasting, which is usually the case.  I kept some plastic grocery bags in my backpack and wrapped books in those.  Then my backpack was under my jacket.  It made it hard to get in and out of my backpack, but my books were all dry.

I left late afternoon instead of staying until the event ended so I could hit another book signing.  The author I really wanted to catch was only at the festival on Sunday, and I couldn’t make it back that day.  There were a total of three authors there and lots of kids, since they are kids book authors.  It was a fun event.

It made for a long day, but it was a great day.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Word Association for April 14th

Here's this week's word association.

  1. Ridiculous :: Hair
  2. Privilege :: Lucky
  3. Consider :: Choices
  4. Legally :: Blonde
  5. Account :: Balanced
  6. Coping :: Mechanism
  7. Disclaimer :: Warning
  8. Dreaming :: Sleep
  9. Logo :: Advertisement
  10. Frustration :: Scream

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Beach League Begins

Yes, I’m back in league ultimate Frisbee.  Being spring, that means it is time for Men’s Beach League.  I’m carpooling with a couple of friends from here in town, and I’m even on the same team with one of them.

Our kick off week was a week and a half ago.  We played pick up for a while so the captains could watch us and hopefully pick even teams.  Then we played our first game.  Our opponents were short men (the captain picked several people he knew who weren’t there that day) so we agreed to play down.

Never do that.

As I knew it would, it really hurt us.  We went down at half 0-6.  We stayed with them for the second half and finished with 5 or 6 points, but they beat us in the end.

On the plus side, I scored one of our goals.  And everyone seems to be nice.  And I was on the beach on a perfectly lovely blue sky day.

Last week, I missed due to the LA Times Festival of Books.  It was cloudy and even rained briefly at one point.  I’ve heard that our first game was really bad, 3-11, but the second was better, 8-11.  We were even ahead for a while that game before we lost subs.  Obviously, I should have been there.

But I’ll be there again on Saturday.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Out of State Author Signing

A week ago, I was in Studio City (which is in an area here in Los Angeles).

I headed down there after work (fortunately, I was against the worst of the traffic) because the Barnes and Noble down there was hosting an event for several out of state authors in town for a conference.  That included some authors I read, including a couple I’d never met.  How could I pass that up?

I thought there might be a formal talk, but there wasn’t.  And there didn’t seem to be a ton of people there, but it was fantastic.  I got to chat with authors about their books to my heart’s content.  And I am always up for talking to authors.  About the only author I didn’t really talk to was Diane Vallere, but she’s a local author so I can chat with her later.  Like this weekend at the LA Times festival of books.

One of the highlights for me was getting to talk to two of the authors on the Wicked Cozy Author blog.  I found the blog two years ago, and I’m on there every day.  I’ve read all of those authors’ books.  But I had yet to meet any of them face to face.  That was a thrill.

After the signing was over, a bunch of us went out for drinks and dinner.  Okay, so it was just dinner for me.  I was the only non-author at the dinner part of the night, and it was a blast just sitting there chatting.  I drove a group of them back to their hotel and then went home.

I was a truly fantastic night.  I’m so glad I was able to make it down for it.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Word Association for April 6th

Looks like I've got some time to do this week's word association.

  1. Inappropriate :: Touching
  2. Spam :: E-Mail
  3. Detailed :: Proposal
  4. Breakfast :: Syrup
  5. Emoticon :: ;)
  6. Grammar :: Proper
  7. Jointly :: Shared
  8. Spontaneous :: Celebration
  9. Auto :: Insurance
  10. Burnt :: Toast

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Easter Trip Home

Yes, I’m skipping a couple of weeks.  No, it’s not because I want to catch up.  It’s because nothing too exciting happened.  I did my taxes.  I worked on getting the last couple of movies off my DVR.  Just thrilling stuff.

However, I did go home for Easter.  Depending on when Easter falls on the calendar, it won’t always be possible with my job (too busy with work), so I had to take advantage of it while I could.  I took Friday and Monday off work, and used those as travel days.

Unfortunately, the long audio book I’d been saving to listen to didn’t work for me.  I had to skip portions of disc 1, and disc 3 wouldn’t play at all, so I gave up.  Fortunately, I was able to snag a digital audio book from my library and listen to that on the way home.  And enjoyed listening to my Easter play list on the way up on Friday.

And what a busy two days it was while I was there.  My friends Donald and Heather were nearby, so I went over and visited them for a couple of hours on Saturday.  And then my uncle and aunt came to town and we all went out to dinner to celebrate their Silver anniversary.  It’s actually next month, but we wanted to celebrate while we were all together.  We went to a nice restaurant, and we wound up having a room to ourselves upstairs, which was wonderful with my niece and nephew.

Sunday was church at my brother’s church before dinner at mom and dad’s.

And my niece and nephew are still so incredibly cute!!!!

It was way too short, and I would have loved to spend more time there, but I had to be back to work.  For one thing, I don’t have that much vacation time saved up these days since I’ve only been here a year and a half.  You go through it very quickly, especially when you use it at holidays (in addition to the holiday time off I get).

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Parental Visit

I think I’m going to get caught up, but then I don’t post anything for a week and just fall behind.  Fortunately, I have some quiet weekends in there to talk about.

The first of which was the final weekend of February, so that takes me to the first weekend of March.  That weekend, my parents came down for a visit.  I hadn’t seen them since December, so it was great to see them again.

The Saturday of that weekend, we met up with friends to see My Fair Lady down at Glendale Centre Theatre.  The production, as always, was wonderful.  It was a full house, which is also nice to see.  We had lots of time to visit before the play, which was nice, too.

They actually stayed in town until Wednesday so they could be in town for my birthday, which was Tuesday that week.  I really appreciated that.  Since I had to work that day, it was just dinner and dessert, but it was still lots of fun.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Word Association for March 23rd

I swear I'll get caught up on life at some point.  No really.  But in the mean time, here's this week's word association.

  1. Slept in! :: Saturday
  2. Brother :: Mike
  3. Highrise :: Office Building
  4. Pizza :: Yum!
  5. Trivial :: Pursuit
  6. Humming :: Bird
  7. Screams :: Terror
  8. Marker :: Coloring
  9. Idealist :: Sounds Good
  10. Fat :: Too Much Pizza

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Word Association for March 16th

Time for this week's word association.

  1. Puzzle :: Lady
  2. Bolt :: Dog 
  3. v.2 :: Version 2 - New and Improved
  4. Cottage :: Industry
  5. Command :: Performance
  6. 99 cents :: Stores
  7. Attic :: Treasure
  8. Crash :: Car
  9. Damp :: Clothes
  10. Area :: Rug

So one of the mystery series I read is the Puzzle Lady series.  And Bolt makes me think of the Disney movie with the same name about a dog.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Disney Day 2016

Okay, let’s see about getting this back on track.  After taking last week off, I’m still almost a month behind since I will now be talking about February 20th.

That was the annual Disney day that my alma mater does.  The tickets aren’t quite as discounted for alumni as they were when I was on staff, but the savings is still nice.  It’s usually the only time I go to Disneyland itself (we’re not talking about trips to Downtown Disney but the park itself), so I look forward to it each year.

This year, the park was crowded.  I mean, I waited almost an hour for small world.  Yikes, right?  It didn’t help that I slept in a little since I got to bed late and didn’t get down there right when the park opened.

But it was still very much worth it.  I got in everything I wanted to do, including the new and improved Peter Pan.  Okay, so there aren’t that many changes, but it was still fun to spot them.

Oh, and in a piece of random fun, the first person I ran into that I knew was an ultimate Frisbee friend with no connection to the college.  Did see people from the college later, but that was just so funny.

And I joined the Dapper Dans for one song.  This barbershop quartet asked the audience to come join them for Zip a dee doo dah, but only about half a dozen of us did.  Still, it was fun.

The weather was perfect.  I thought it might be cold, but I didn’t have to put on my sweatshirt until after it was dark.

But really, any day at Disneyland is a great day, right?

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Word Association for March 10th

Well, it looks like all I'm going to get to this week is some word association.

  1. Meteor :: Shower
  2. Piggy bank :: Save
  3. Star Trek :: Sci Fi
  4. Nail polish :: Red
  5. Theme song :: TV show
  6. Bubble :: Head
  7. Peeled :: Sun Burn
  8. Teal :: Blue
  9. Container :: Cookie Jar
  10. Survival :: of the Fittest

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Wedding on the Mount

The day before Valentine’s Day, I went to the most unusual wedding I’ve been to.  It was up on the top of a mountain.

My friends Luke and Sarah decided to take that day to make it official, and they wound up having access to a shack near the top of a mountain here in So Cal.  Fortunately, we were having warm weather, so snow wasn’t a factor.  I’m not sure I could have made it up with snow.

No, it’s not because I don’t have chains for my car (although I don’t).  It’s because we had to hike 3 miles and a 2000 foot elevation gain to reach the location for the wedding.  And I went up and back in one day, while most everyone else spent at least one night there.  Fortunately, there was very little snow on the trail, although there was a tiny bit around.

Not being a hiker, that part wasn’t my favorite part of the day, but the view once we got up to the top was absolutely beautiful.  Words can’t describe how nice it was, and I’m so glad I was able to go.

Also, it was nice to go for my friends.  With the venue where it was, the guest list was small, and I’m very honored I was included.

The ceremony was short yet nice.  It wound up being a bit later than planned, so I wound up having to leave as soon as we took a group picture so I could make it down before dark.

Definitely a day I will remember for quite some time to come.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Word Association for March 2nd

Here's this week's word association.

  1. Hold :: Choke
  2. Stubble :: Shave
  3. Checking account :: Money
  4. Dove :: Peace
  5. Hollow :: Tree
  6. Shape :: Circle
  7. Full :: House
  8. Nails :: Trim
  9. Masking :: Tape
  10. Host :: Party

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Fun Weekend with Friends

I've gotten very far behind on this, haven't I?  It's time for some serious catch up.

The first weekend in February (see what I mean?), I hung out with friends all weekend.

Saturday, I spent the day with Joe, Erica, and their kids.  I went for lunch and stayed through dinner.  It was absolutely wonderful catching up with them and playing some with their kids.  It had been entirely too long since I'd seen them.

That Sunday was Super Bowl Sunday (yes, I'm really that far behind), and I accepted a last minute invitation to go watch it with my friend and pastor and his family and another couple we all know from church and ultimate Frisbee.  It was a nice, relaxing afternoon.  I had planned to work on my computer while "watching" the game, and that obviously didn't happen, but I had a great time just relaxing and chatting and paying more attention than I have to any single football game in years.  The game wasn't the greatest, but the company more than made up for it.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Word Association for February 18th

Let's do this week's word association before the week slips away from me.

  1. Buff :: Muscles
  2. Spiderwebs :: Cave
  3. Hostile :: Environment
  4. Viewed :: Movie
  5. Cross :: to Bear
  6. Load :: Program
  7. Reboot :: Computer
  8. Smell :: Good
  9. Sniffle :: Sick
  10. Company :: Business