Wednesday, July 20, 2022

A Game Afternoon

(Just a quick note:  If you are landed here because of a comment I left on your book blog, you might be more interested in my review blog, Carstairs Considers.  But you are very welcome to stick around here, too.)

A couple weeks ago, I got a text from my former roommate Josh.  (Second former roommate Josh for anyone keeping track.)  We'd texted recently that he and his wife had bought a house back on my side of town and they'd like to hang out sometime.  But this text was inviting me to a monthly game afternoon.  I hesitated for a few reasons, but I decided I really wanted to go.

And I had a great time.  They were the only people I knew when I arrived, but that wasn't really an issue.  We played a couple of different games that were fun.  I even was on the winning team twice.  Plus, it was fun to catch up with them.

This is going to be a monthly thing they are hosting, and I'm already looking forward to going back next month.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

A Festive Fourth

(Just a quick note:  If you are landed here because of a comment I left on your book blog, you might be more interested in my review blog, Carstairs Considers.  But you are very welcome to stick around here, too.)

I had a good 4th of July.  Of course, I'd gone paddle boarding that Saturday.  (So far, haven't missed a weekend).  I would have had to pay to park and launch if I went on a holiday, so I skipped that on the holiday itself.  But my friend Ginger invited me over to hang out with her family and friends.  It was mostly family.  And it was nice.

Nothing too exciting.  Mainly just hanging out and chatting.  It was chilly for us for the 4th (mid-80's), but people still got in the pool.  I'll admit, I didn't spend long in there.

Since I go to a small church, I've known most of her family for years, but it's been nice getting to hang out with them more.  This is the third time I've gone over there on a holiday this year, so we are building more friendships than just saying "Hi" in church.

Friday, July 01, 2022

On Board with Paddle Boarding

(Just a quick note:  If you are landed here because of a comment I left on your book blog, you might be more interested in my review blog, Carstairs Considers.  But you are very welcome to stick around here, too.)

I don't think I've talked about paddle boarding much here.  I might have mentioned it last year when my friend Ginger first invited me to join her just about a year ago.  I loved it.  Not that I'm surprised.  I've always loved the water, and often wished to do something like that.  I went with her again last fall, then a couple of times in the spring.

But here was my problem.  I wanted to be able to go more often, and she had other friends who liked going as well.  So, I bought my own.  I arrived just before Memorial Day, and I've been out on it every weekend since.

There's a lake about 30 minutes from my front door, and that's where I've taken it so far.  I do a loop of the lake, which takes about an hour if you are paddling steadily, or longer if you take some breaks to enjoy it.  I bought the parking and launch passes, so I'm set for the year.

So far, I'm more of a sit down paddle boarder, although last weekend, I did kneel most of the time I was out there.  My lack of balance comes into play when I try to stand.  I really only did it once, but I wound up in the water pretty quickly.  Others, I've gotten half way up and started to wobble, so I went back down.  We'll see if I wind up standing more or not.  I'm more interested in the paddling and being on the water than in standing.  I want to have something in my life that is just fun and I'm not trying to get better at.

Friday, June 24, 2022

Rugged Maniac 2022

(Just a quick note:  If you are landed here because of a comment I left on your book blog, you might be more interested in my review blog, Carstairs Considers.  But you are very welcome to stick around here, too.)

I was doing so well, but now it's been a while since I posted again.  Let's get at least one post in this week.

Back in May, I did my second mud run for the year.  And possibly my last one, sadly.  Rugged Maniac was back in the area, so naturally I did it.

I actually did it with a friend.  He signed up at the last minute (like the night before).  Despite the fact that they didn't seem to have a wave time for me, we got signed in and registered rather quickly.  In fact, we had a little time to kill before we started running.  We played a little cornhole before we started, and I wound up winning.  He couldn't handle it well, which I found even more fun.

Of course, once we started running, he left me in the dust right away.  No surprise there since I'm only slowing down from my already slow speed.  It was hot that weekend, which didn't help.  Then my sun screen was running in my eyes.

But I had fun.  They had great obstacles.  We got muddy.  Although one trench we went through really stunk.  Didn't like that as much.  Overall, it was a great morning.

I also hurt my shoulder from people trying to help me up the warped wall near the end.  It was funny because I felt something at the time, but it didn't bother me that much.  It was a couple of hours later after I was home and showered that it really started to hurt.  It bothered me for a couple of weeks, but it's healed up now, so no permanent damage, which is a good thing.

Monday, May 16, 2022

2022's LA Times Festival of Books

(Just a quick note:  If you are landed here because of a comment you left on my bookish post, you might be more interested in my review blog, Carstairs Considers.  But you are very welcome to stick around here, too.)

After taking the last couple of years off, the LA Times Festival of Books was back this year!  It was back at the USC campus.  Of course, I went down for it.  Instead of going both days, I just went on Sunday since that was the day I could meet up with my friend.  We had fun walking around the booths and talking to authors, mainly in the mystery booths, of course.  It didn't seem to be that crowded this year, although I heard Saturday was very busy.  I was good and only bought three books, which was a nice change, although I bought quite a few to get signed by one author I hadn't seen for a couple of years.

The weather was warm.  Just a little on the too hot side, at least for walking around.  But don't let anyone catch me saying that.

I also got to meet one of the co-hosts of the podcast All Things Cozy.  Since I'd met the other one a couple years ago, that was a lot of fun.  Just talked to her for a few minutes.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Library Book Event

(Just a quick note:  If you are landed here because of a comment you left on my bookish post, you might be more interested in my review blog, Carstairs Considers.  But you are very welcome to stick around here, too.)

In the second half of April, I got to go to another book signing.  This one was at one of the libraries here in town.  I had been two years in the making since it was originally supposed to happen in 2020 just after we all went into lockdown.  I don't think I'd heard about it then, so I'm kind of glad it didn't happen.

The author was J. R. Sanders.  He writes historical mysteries set in Hollywood, and the story of the first book actually takes his characters to the town where I life.  As a result, he was talking about some of the real places here where he set stuff, which was fun.

Naturally, I bought both of his books, although they sound like they are going to not be quite what I normally read.  Still, I'm looking forward to reading them...someday.

There was a street event just a couple of blocks away that night, so I went and hung out there for a bit, too, afterwards.  Sadly, it won't work to go visit it on a regular basis, but I was glad I popped in to see what all was going on.

Monday, May 09, 2022

Grandmaster Ultimate

(Just a quick note:  If you are landed here because of a comment you left on my bookish post, you might be more interested in my review blog, Carstairs Considers.  But you are very welcome to stick around here, too.)

The Saturday of Easter weekend, I went down to Orange County to play some ultimate Frisbee.

Two friends I normally play pickup with here in town played in a grandmaster tournament last summer.  They were trying out for the team again this year, and I tagged along.  It was a very informal pickup game.  The real try outs happened at the end of April in San Diego (it's a San Diego based team) and I didn't go down for those.  I know my skill level and had other things to do that weekend.

Anyway, this was a ways away from where we all live.  I probably wouldn't have gone if I couldn't carpool with them.  That made it nice, especially since I was driving.

The play was just pickup.  I actually enjoyed it because I could mostly keep up with people.  I wasn't running around trying desperately to keep up with people much faster than I ever was.  I was still slow, but not noticeably slow.

Unfortunately, I did feel like I could play better than I did out there.  I had lots of drops.  Usually, they were coming from bad/questionable throws, but it would have been nice to catch them.  The few catches I did have I then threw the disc away some.  Yes, I did have a few successful completions, but not many.

However, I ended the day on a great note.  I caught a score!  Definitely walked off the field smiling.

Wondering what grandmasters is?  It's for old players.  You have to be over 38 if you are male to play.  What's scary is, I'm fast approaching great grandmasters level.

Saturday, May 07, 2022

Family Vacation

(Just a quick note:  If you are landed here because of a comment you left on my bookish post, you might be more interested in my review blog, Carstairs Considers.  But you are very welcome to stick around here, too.)

I have been very neglectful of this blog.  And it's not because nothing has been going on.  I just haven't had the time to post here.  Or I haven't made the time.  So let's work on catching up, shall we?

In March, we finally got to take a long gestating family vacation.  We had a great time.  We went down to San Diego, which isn't that far from me but is further for my family.  Not that I go to San Diego all that often.  In fact, I can count on one hand the number of times I've been there.  I really need to fix that.

Mom and Dad rented us a fabulous place right on the beach.  It was more than we originally would have spent, but we spent a lot of time on the beach just chilling, so it turned out to be money very well spent.  It truly was a fabulous place to stay.

We spent some time just hanging out, which was wonderful.  We did go to Legoland one day, which my nephew enjoyed more than the rest of us.  But we'd all be curious about it, so that's okay.  We went whale watching, although we didn't see any whales.  I did my first escape room.  And we escaped, with 41 seconds to spare.  We were staying in Mission Bay, so we spent some time at the boardwalk, including their mini golf.

Mission Bay is where I got this painting, too.  What's cool is, it is done on glass, so when the sun hits it, it comes through in some parts.  I really like it.

We had a great time.  I definitely wasn't ready to come back to work when the week was over.

Saturday, April 09, 2022

Just a Quick Note

 Yes, I know, I need to update this blog.  It's been a while.  However, I just wanted to drop a quick note.  If you've stumbled over this blog as a result of my participating in weekly book blog related posts of some sort, know that this is my personal diary blog.  Welcome!  Feel free to browse.  However, if you are looking for my participation posts for the weekly book blog related posts, please head over to my review blog, Carstairs Considers.

Whether you stay here, go there, or do both, I'm thankful you stopped by.

Thursday, March 17, 2022

A Second Book Signing and a Mission

I actually went to two book signings in February.  The second one was for Caramel Pecan Roll Murder, the newest Hannah Swensen mystery from Joanne Fluke.  I didn't spend much time there.  I got there late, and the tables all had people at them.  Rather than try to get a chair, I just got my books signed (the new one plus the older ones I hadn't gotten autographed yet), and left again.

However, before the signing, I did something I'd been wanting to do for a long time - I went to the San Fernando Mission.  I see signs for it all the time while I'm driving around.  It was a mission.  There wasn't anything super exciting about it, but it was nice to finally get there.

I also finally looked for a couple Little Free Libraries after the signing.  Thanks to the app, they were fairly easy to find.  I left a couple of extra books I have around here (duplicates I got from publishers) with my business cards for my review blog in them.  We'll see if they ever get read and anyone starts reading my blog as a result, but I had fun finding them and leaving the books.  I need a cheap way to get more books I would be willing to leave.  We've mentioned how much of a hard time I have letting go of books, right?

Monday, February 28, 2022

First Book Signing in Two Years

I actually made it to two book signings in February.  Today, I'm just going to talk about the first one.

It was near the beginning of February, and it was for Gregg Hurwitz's newest Orphan X novel.  (Which I, sadly, haven't read yet).  It was at the bookstore in Santa Monica where he has had all the launches for this series.  One difference, however, is we were outdoors the entire time, except for buying the book.  It's been cold in the past, but we were having a warm spell, and it was quite pleasant to be down there outside even as darkness fell.

I headed down after work, and I was fortunate to make good time getting down there.  As a result, I was able to snag dinner at the BBQ place across the street from the bookstore before.  I like the place, and I was glad to see it was still in business.

The book signing itself was fun as always.  I really do want to get to the book soon.

It had been two years since last book signing, and it was nice to go to one again.  Sadly, even during normal times, I don't seem to be able to get to too many.  I really miss them.

Friday, February 18, 2022

Muddy Dash - 2022

I've started out the year with another mud run!  I was back at Irvine Lake (although a different company was putting it on).  This time it was a Muddy Dash.  Again, I signed up last minute, and again, I did it because it was a great deal.  There was just a little bit of fees, etc., but not the normal costs.

The other reason I signed up last minute was weather.  Since you never know what kind of weather you will get in February, I don't like to sign up months in advance.  But I signed up about a week out, and the weather was looking like it was going to be perfect.  It was.

I went with my friends Rory and Cameron.  Despite the great deal to sign up when we did, it was pretty empty.  We hardly had any wait to get our stuff, and there didn't seem to be many people on the course.  The good news was, we didn't have to wait at obstacles this time.

And yes, there was mud.  No mud we had to crawl through, but there was some thick mud we had to walk through at times.

However, the course seemed short.  It was supposed to be a 5K, but it felt more like two miles.  Unless there was a part of the course we missed, that is.  But I sure didn't see anything like that.

They had hoses for us to clean up with afterwards.  I'd bought some water in case they didn't, but it turned out we didn't need it.  However, they only had five of them, and the lines were long.  That was the longest line we were in all day.

The weather was wonderful.  We've been having wind here at home, but down there we had no wind.  It was upper 70's.  Perfect weather for being outside and getting muddy.

My friends didn't seem that impressed.  They are looking for harder obstacles.  I do wish the course had been longer and we'd had to crawl through mud at some point, but overall, I was happy with it.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Los Angeles Zoo Lights

Thanks to a friend, I got to go to the Zoo Lights at the LA Zoo again.

My friend Angelique volunteers at the zoo, so she had some free tickets.  When she asked if I wanted to go and if I thought our friend Ann wanted to go, I naturally said yes.  We tried to go in December after Christmas, but it was raining that day.  So we went in January.

While none of the animals are out, they've got some great animals that light up and some other fun things to look at.  Since I love Christmas lights, I thought it was all beautiful.  We went two years ago, and I enjoyed it just as much this year as I did last time.

While I'd seen Angelique twice recently at Disneyland, we hadn't seen Ann for a couple of years.  It was great to see her in person (we'd talked) and just hang out.  We went to dinner in Glendale afterwards, which was also fun.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Christmas 2021

What do you know, Christmas was a month ago, and I still haven't blogged about it.  I guess that is because I am still trying to process what happened....

Kidding.  I'm kidding.  I had a fabulous time.

As usual, I drove north for the holiday.  I headed up on the 23rd.  I needed to use some vacation time, so I took that day off.  Christmas Eve, we got together with some family friends I hadn't seen for a while, so that was fun.  Then we went to my family's church for the Christmas Eve service.

Christmas was the usual of going over to my brother's house for the kids to open their presents, then everyone coming to my parents house for dinner.  My uncle and aunt came over, and a good friend of my mom's was there as well.  It was a fabulous day.

I was up there for another few days since my job gave us the week off between Christmas and New Year's.  My brother took a couple of days off as well, so we got to spend lots of time together as a family.  We play games.  We went to the redwoods and a beach.  It was a nice visit, and I wasn't ready to come home.  Especially since I had to work one day we were off.  Too much work to do to truly be off a week.  Job security, right?