Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Disneyland - Part 2

I had one last day on my parks pass at Disneyland I had to use.  Angelique was nice enough to pay to go with me again, and we headed down there the first Saturday of the month.

This time, we started in California Adventure since we hadn't been there at all in October.  We hit all the essentials and quite a few of the optional rides.  The lines for those were short, so it was hard to walk past them.

I finally made it on the rethemed Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout.  We enjoyed it.  I was always a fan of the Tower of Terror, which it replaced.  But this seemed better, mainly because the scenes in between the drops were actually telling a story.

We also made it on the new Spiderman ride.  That was a disappointment.  I feel like I might better follow what is happening after another couple of rides, but it wasn't all that fun.  Definitely not worth the wait for it.

Around 5:30, we hopped on over to Disneyland.  I was impressed with how much we were able to get done there.  Most of the big rides and quite a few of the smaller ones.  We didn't get back on Rise of the Resistance, which was a disappointment.  And Small World hadn't quite reopened after their flood in November.  But we still had a good time.

Park open to close makes for a long day, but it was worth it.  If it weren't so expensive, I'd definitely be plotting a return trip, but this will have to do it for me for a while, I'm afraid.

Thursday, December 16, 2021


 As usual, I went up north for Thanksgiving.

We had quite a group for Thanksgiving day itself.  In addition to the usual group, my sister-in-law's sister and her husband were there.  It was great getting to hang out with them.  The food was good, and a great time was had by all.

Friday, my parents and I drove over to the Sacramento area to see my uncle and aunt, and my cousin and his family, who were down for Thanksgiving.  I haven't seen my uncle and aunt in quite a while, and it's been years since I saw my cousin and his family, so that was fun.  We played Bocce ball, and my team won both games!

Saturday was back with my brother's family and my parents.  We played some games and generally had a good time together.

Sunday, I had to fight traffic driving home.  It was worse than I remembered it being the year before, even with leaving as early as I did.  Sadly, I had to be back at work, but hopefully next year I can take that Monday before Thanksgiving off again and not have to fight traffic coming home.

Monday, December 13, 2021

Terrain Run 2021

Guess what?  I got back in the mud (sort of) last month.

I did the Terrain Race on the Saturday before Thanksgiving.  It was a last minute decision because the weather wasn't looking too cold (could have been warmer, but it was okay) and a friend wanted to do it with me.  Plus, we got a great deal on it.

It was down at Irvine Lake, where I've done many mud runs in the past.

While it was nice to be out there again, it was a disappointing day as far as the race goes.  There were long lines.  Lines to pay to park.  Lines to pay to pick up our packets.  Lines to do the obstacles.  Usually those get better after the first one or two, but they didn't here.  It took longer than I thought it would to do it.

Even worse, for a mud run, they had one little bit of mud, and it wasn't all that deep.  But that turned out to be a good thing since they didn't have any way for us to clean up afterwards or any place to change.

Afterwards, we grabbed a late lunch and then went to visit some friends of mine who live not that far away.  That part of the day was great!  I had fun visiting with them, and my friend seemed to have a good time as well.

I'm signed up for a mud run in 2022 already, and keeping an eye opened for the Camp Pendleton Mud Run to open up for registration.  We'll see if I do more than those two next year, but I'll be happy getting to do any again.

Saturday, November 20, 2021


I made it back to Disneyland last month.  I've got a couple of days on tickets I bought last year that I need to use, and I used one of them with my friend Angelique.  We did our usual full day in the park trying to hit everything.  It was a bit harder without Fastpass (I'll be mourning the loss of that for a long time), but we still did it.

A definite highlight was getting to go on the newly redesigned Snow White ride.  I've had issues with how the old version ended, and I was happy to see this one finally tell the entire story.

Also, we made it on Rise of the Resistance.  That was a fabulous ride!  So creative, well done, and surprising.  I can't wait to go on it again.

We are going back in a couple of week to use my last day.  Hopefully, it will be just as great a day.

Friday, October 29, 2021

Hawaii Vacation

 Last month, I got a much needed vacation.  I went to the Big Island of Hawaii for a week's vacation with a couple of friends.  We had a fabulous time!

We spent the first few nights in the village of Volcano, not too far from Hawaii Volcanos National Park.  We spent some time exploring in the park, naturally, including hiking across a volcano.  Then, we went to the southern most point in the 50 states and hiked out to Green Sand Beach.  I went on my first zipline, and I had a blast doing it.

We spent the rest of our time on the other side, staying in Kailua-Kona.  We went snorkeling just about every day when we were on this side.  We also swam with dolphins and manta rays.  One of the friends and I went hiking in a canyon one day, as well.

It was a fabulous trip.  I desperately needed the time away from work, and it was nice to be out of the condo for more than a weekend.  As much as I love working from home, it is nice to get out of the house every so often.

And we got along well.  We were good friends before we went or I don't think we would have agreed to go on vacation together, but it was just fun hanging out together for an extended period of time.

None of us were ready to come home when it was over.  And I'm already plotting where to go next.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Labor Day Weekend

I am fast hitting burnout.  I don't know that Labor Day could have come at a better time for me.

It came right after a busy quarter end at work, a quarter end that was busier than we'd seen in a while since business is finally picking up post COVID again.  It was rough, and I was burned out.

Saturday, I had to get out of the condo, so I headed down to Santa Monica and the beach.  Yes, I just sat on the beach and read most of the time, but it was so nice to be able to do something like that outside the condo for a change.

Sunday was the usual - church and ultimate Frisbee.  We had a very small turn out for ultimate - only four of us.

Then came Monday.  My friend who hosted the BBQ for Memorial Day hosted another one for Labor Day, so I went over there and hung out with his friends again.  And I had another great time.  Again, it was nice to be out of the condo and just relax around other people.

As much as I do love working from home and have no desire to go back to the office again, I do find that I enjoy social contact more when I am out.  It makes sense in a way - you are around people you know and like and are choosing to be around.  Not to say that I haven't made friends with co-workers over the years.  But it isn't the same.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Parental Visit

My parents came down for a visit at the end of August.  They'd postponed the trip from earlier in the month, so it was great to finally have them come.  They stayed with me at the condo.

Because they hadn't driven enough on Friday when they were coming into town, we went further south on Saturday to visit some family friends.  It was the first time seeing some of their kids and a while since we'd seen the most recent.  They've grown.  Visit friends with kids is different from all being adults, but it is still so good to catch up with everyone.  Wouldn't have changed that visit for anything.

Sunday we stuck around town.  Went to church in the morning, then came back to the condo and played some games.  I even won my fair share, something that rarely seems to happen when we play games.  I was happy with that.

Monday, they left to drive home, and I got very busy at work since it was time for another quarter end.  (It's like those come around every three months or something.)

Saturday, September 11, 2021

20 Years

Hard to believe it has been 20 years.  Memories of the day are still so vivid to me.

I had just flown home from the second Trixie Camp.  We were in Williamsburg that year, and I flew home on 9/9.  Some others had stayed in Williamsburg a few extra days and got stranded there.  Others had gone to New York City.  Yes, they were all safe, but it was still scary.

I was home that morning getting ready for work when I got a call from my friend asking me if I had the TV on.  When I said no, very confused, he said I should turn it on.  Being in So Cal, the second plane had already hit by the time I turned the TV on.  I watched the coverage for a few minutes in complete shock.

Yes, I still went into work.  Yes, I got a few things done while also searching the news for the latest.  And trying to make sure my friends who were supposed to be traveling that day were all safe.  That evening, I actually did go look at an apartment I would move into in about a month with the friend who had called me that morning.  Then I went home and watched as much news coverage as I could handle before putting in my DVD of Toy Story.  I needed something fun to take my mind off all of it.

I also think back to how united we were as the United States at the time.  And I look at how divided we are now.  It saddens me that there is so much hate, so many calls for those we disagree with to lose their jobs and be shunned in society.  I pray we can find common ground again without another horrific day like this to bring us together.

Friday, July 09, 2021

A Fun Fourth

I know, two posts in a month.  I haven't done that since the beginning of 2020.  But that's because I had to talk about the 4th while it was fresh in my mind.  I actually went out and did stuff!

Okay, so the first thing I did Saturday wasn't as fun.  My life group was cleaning the church, so I started there.  At 8 in the morning, too.  But the fun started quickly after that.

I headed out with another member of my life group to try paddle boarding on a lake near us.  She's been doing it this last year, and I've always been curious to try it.  With my sense of balance, I didn't try standing.  Instead, I knelt for about half of the time and then sat for the second half.  It was fun.  I got one of my weird sun burns.  It was obvious where I had and hadn't applied sun screen.  I'm just now starting to peel, so that will be fun this next week.

Sunday was back at church to do the PowerPoint for the service.  We couldn't get a group together for ultimate Frisbee that afternoon.  Just when I was planning a quiet evening at home (or as quiet as I could have with fireworks going off around me), a friend invited me over.  We spent some time trying to find a good place to watch fireworks near where he lives and then we hung out for a while.  It was a lot of fun.

Monday, I actually got to sleep in!  It was a quiet day around the condo, which was nice after the busyness of the previous days.

Friday, July 02, 2021

Summer Time!

 It's summer!  Time to celebrate with a dip in the pool.  I know it's been hot all over the country.  It's certainly been hot here in So Cal, but I don't feel like it's been that much worse than usual.

Work continues to drive me crazy.  I keep thinking things will slow down, but that doesn't seem to be happening.

Since my last post, I got to enjoy a wonderful Memorial Day BBQ hosted by a friend.  We ate.  We played spike ball (sometimes in the sprinklers) and we ate some more.  It was a generally fun day.  It helped that the person I teamed up with for Spike Ball and I went undefeated.

We went into the sanctuary at church this last Sunday for the first time.  It was getting much too hot under the tent.  Although they added misters under the tent, and it was surprisingly cool under them, as I learned after the service was over.  I think it would have been fun out there, but that does mean watching it on a big screen TV instead of in person.

As we are getting out of the pandemic, the stress is really beginning to get to me.  I can tell.  Normally, when I get this moody, I can hide it better than I am these days.  Hopefully, things will ease up soon, or I will get a break of some kind that will help me continue, but with a much healthier level of stress.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Checking In

I'm getting really bad about updating this blog, aren't I?  Of course, it's hard to come up with too much to report.

I'm still working, and still working from home.  A little bit of the office will be opened in July, but it sounds like we won't be back in the office with any regularity until fall some time.  Personally, I don't want to go back.  I've gotten very spoiled working from home.  I love it!  Yes, there are times I wish I could talk to someone in person, but the rest of the time, it's nice to be able to do my own thing without being distracted/interrupted.  I do still think that training someone new would be harder virtually than from home.

Last time, I had mentioned my church was going to start meeting in person again.  That's going well.  We are outside under a tent.  Some weeks have been windy, but it's been good overall.

I've gotten to see my family a few times in the last couple of months.  They came down this way in March - my parents to visit me, and my brother and his family stopped by when they were headed down to San Diego.  Then I went up in April to visit them for a weekend.  All of those visit were nice.

Can't think of much else to report.  Hopefully, things will open up again soon, and I will start to have more to talk about again.

Wednesday, February 03, 2021

Hello 2021

 And yes, I realize the irony of posting "Hello 2021" as a blog title when my first post of the year is the beginning of February.

I figured I should post something to let you know I'm still here and breathing.  Not that I have that much to talk about.  Like most of the world, I'm still getting out and doing very little.  I'm still working from home and will be for another couple of months at a minimum.  I'm very happy to report that things are a little calmer, which is nice.  Probably ramp up again at the end of February, but I'm hoping it stays this calm for another week or two.

My church is gearing up for meeting outdoors in person on Sunday mornings, which will be an adjustment.  Like so many, I've gotten a little spoiled with working from home and going to church at home.  I don't set an alarm either day of the weekend any more.  There are some nice parts of being home.

I do miss being out and seeing people, however.  That's the thing I miss the most.  And for an introvert like me to say that, that is really saying something.