Jul 312006
 

Lots of fairly short topics, and lots of pictures.

First, more pictures of SkaYoYo and Tufty’s baby. She’s so cute, especially when she’s wearing pictures of me.

Second, pictures of a pen. Unless you’re Mom or Cousin Joel, I wouldn’t even look at this. The pictures are huge and boring.

Third, Team Builder. We (and more than a hundred others) were told to take a half day off and go play games. Our group dominated — we won the Tug of War, the Relay Race, and Softball. KrisDi was in all three of those, I was in the first and last. We got second in like everything else. Our reward for winning was time off. We got rewarded with time off for screwing around at work! YES! KrisDi’s job was to take shots of water and fill up a bottle so she could grab a little ball. She did very well.

Fourth, some random stuff. Just go look at it.

Let’s see, small news items: I got the lawn mower running, so I don’t have to push the torture device around. KrisDi bought a laptop (this one), which caused the “Z is for Xylophone” quote. We went to Jon’s block party again, and drank much, and harrassed children, and jumped in Jolly Jumper things. Some kid had a Green Machine. That thing is frickin awesome! Look at the way it steers! Two levers, like a tank! Steering in the front! TOTALLY AWESOME!

Jul 232006
 

Friday, KrisDi and I went to Six Flags Magic Mountain. It was a weekday, so there weren’t that many people there. In fact, we rode Scream three times without getting off the ride, so that was cool. Then we got to ride Deja Vu, and only had to wait one cycle. Then we got in line for the new ride, Tatsu, which was supposed to be about an hour long. Some dude walked up to us and offered us free “Cut In Line” passes, call “Flash Passes” or something like that, so we didn’t have to wait for that one either. Unfortunately, it ate my keys. A little more than halfway through, KrisDi and I heard keys jingle by us, and I thought, “I hope those aren’t mine.” I couldn’t check, because of the way they bind you to the seat. They were mine.

OnStar (free with my car for one year) let me into my car to get my registration and gave me the number for a nearby Saturn dealership. Saturn came to pick us up and drove us back to the dealership, where a little paperwork later, they were able to make me a new key from their database files on my VIN. They drove us back to Six Flags, and we drove away. It was 105 degrees out, and we didn’t feel like continuing to walk around. Believe it or not, the whole ordeal only took about two hours, and cost me $10.41. Six Flags still hasn’t found my keys yet, and I doubt they will, but I’ll keep checking for a week or so.

In other news, I finished cleaning up the scanned pictures from 1988, so go take a look at them if you’re interested.

Jul 152006
 

KrisDi and I went to Las Vegas again last weekend. Mainly for our ex-coworker’s wedding, which was exciting for the following reasons:

1. KrisDi and I were the only ones not related in some way (except the best man), including the minister (who is married to the maid of honor, who is the bride’s sister).
2. Groom and Bride met on the internet.
3. Earlier this year.
4. She’s been married before.
5. She has two kids.
6. One of them is from the boyfriend before the previous husband.
7. There was a fight between the bride and some guest (unsure of the relationship), which upset her enough that she didn’t want to go to their reception dinner.
8. She changed her mind later and decided to go to the dinner (which the rest of us had decided to have together without the bride and groom).
9. She would only go if the guy she fought with, his fiancee, and her mother (who gave her away in the wedding) weren’t there.
10. The minister, on hearing this, declared, “This is horseshit!” and went to dinner with the excluded ones (leaving his wife, the maid of honor, behind).
11. They declared at the reception that they’re expecting in February.

So check out the pictures of the lucky newlyweds. My favorite is the older kid, who loves Jedi, and wanders around in a green bathrobe (his Jedi garb) with a lightsaber hanging from it. He’s Anakin.

This was our first day there. Hofbrauhaus is awesome. I competed in a beer holding contest (I held one liter of beer out in front of me for about four minutes). I got second. Then KrisDi competed in a drinking contest, and also got second. She drank half a liter of beer in about 15 seconds. I was monstrously impressed.

Here are pictures from the hotels. Then we went to the Hoover Dam. And back to the Hofbrauhaus. Mmmm. Beer.

Since then, it’s been mostly work. I guess a little softball. On Thursday, we played for first place. We were tied for the best record in our softball league (3-1), and we played the team we were tied with. Unfortunately, we sucked, and they beat us by two. Our hitting was weak and our fielding was no good either. Sucko.

Let’s see…at work, we had to move our lab from one building to another. Movers came and took all the furniture (most of it anyway), and then we went in and moved all the test equipment and parts and whatnot. Afterwards, all of us went to Dairy Queen for ice cream. On the clock. The boss is on vacation this week.

Speaking of the boss being on vacation, yesterday I had to give him a call on his personal cell phone so I could ask for time off for KrisDi and me. We got it. So, now we’ll be taking a road trip. We’re going to fly to Seattle and visit Mom, KrisDi’s brother and his girlfriend, and maybe my college friends who live up there. Then we’ll pick up KrisDi’s brother’s car, drive it to North Dakota (we’ll probably stop somewhere in Montana and break it into two days of driving — actually, I think we might be stopping at Yellowstone) and visit my dad and brother. Then it’s time to go to the lake. I haven’t been there in forever. I even called my older brother, whom I haven’t seen in 2.5 years, to see if he could make it up to the frigid North that week. It’s right before Dad’s birthday, and if he were to show up, it would be the first time in about five years that he, Northwood, and I have all been at the same place at the same time. I think Dad would appreciate that. I would. Then we keep on driving (and maybe stop in Fargo for a night) till we hit Chicago to visit KrisDi’s family and see a White Sox game and eat pizza and see fish, before flying back home. It’s going to be awesome.

I spent a lot of time today reading Calvin and Hobbes. A couple years ago, KrisDi gave me this gigantic compendium of Calvin and Hobbes comics. I started reading them today. I started remembering how much I liked them.

Jul 062006
 

I must begin this post with a story.

Once upon a Christmas, I was home visiting Pa. I went to Bucky’s house one evening, and he showed me his Christmas present: A blowgun. We spent some time shooting various things with the blowgun, and discovered that even from a fair distance, its darts can go straight through a full, unopened can of pop. We later learned that a Hot Tamale is surprisingly well adapted for use as a projectile.

Around this time, my little brother Northwood called and was invited over. This was poor timing on his part. Bucky decided that it would be amusing to surprise Northwood by shooting him with a Hot Tamale when he came in the door. Bucky certainly surprised him by unintentionally hitting a very delicate part of a man’s anatomy…*ahem*…head on. If this sounds painful to you, you probably don’t have any idea how bad it was. Poor Northwood dropped to the ground, writhing in pain.

Bucky felt much guilt at this unintentional outcome, and offered compensation. He promised to stand up and refuse to protect himself, while Northwood got a free shot at him. Northwood took it, but didn’t aim for anything too sensitive. Bucky stood for it very manfully, but still discovered that a Hot Tamale is surprisingly painful at high speeds.

This being said, you may or may not be aware of my mother’s attempt to rid her back yard of invading squirrels. She tried traps. She bought a BB gun (pump pistol type), and discovered that it wasn’t powerful enough to faze them. She got a blowgun, and found out she was too soft to kill a squirrel. As described, those darts are pretty dangerous. I advised her to try the Hot Tamale method. Apparently she took my advice, spent some time practicing on a tree, and then today managed to hit a squirrel dead-on with a Hot Tamale, nearly knocking the critter off the bird feeder. Now I just need her to take a video.

Jul 052006
 

Mr. and Mrs. Morphic Phoenix came to visit month, which was lots of fun. We did a whole bunch of stuff (including Phoenix and I being drunk in the same place at the same time — a first — a couple times). It took forever to post this because I waited until KrisDi came home with her camera, and then we went to Vegas, and now’s the first chance I’ve had to do it. I’m not sure I can remember everywhere we went and everything we did, but here’s a synopsis:

I picked them up at LAX on June 21, we took the Pacific Coast Highway back to my place, and stopped by the big rock and saw a couple dolphins, which was neat. We went bowling (I won one, Phoenix won one), then we went back home and drank beer until early in the morning.

The next day, we drove up to Santa Barbara for lunch, and then on up to Solvang for wine tasting. Now, you might think that wine tasting sounds stuffy, and I’m sure it’s intended to be. But it’s also a remarkably effective way to inebriate oneself. We stopped at the first place we saw (Gainey Vineyards). They gave us eight tastings — remember, wine is typically in the 15% ABV area. Then Mrs. Phoenix talked the dude (not the Dude, the wine server dude) into giving us three more samples by pretending to be interested in the wine club. It was hilarious. I was okay to drive at this point, but I knew I wouldn’t be after the next one. So we pulled into a parking lot and hit four more (Lucas & Lewellen, Royal Oaks, Stolpman, and Presidio; all within one block of where we parked). Drunk would describe what we were. It was lots of fun. So, we went to a little diner for dinner and to sober up, and then drove to Chumash Casino to see Dennis Miller‘s stand up show. So that was a busy day. We returned and barely had the energy to have a beer before bed.

So we got up the next day and drove to San Diego, which you’ve probably heard of. We didn’t do much that first night (Friday), just went out for dinner in Old Town (where we were staying). Mrs. Phoenix was still suffering from our wine excursion, and she went to bed early. Phoenix, KrisDi, and I went out for yards of beer and had a grand old time.

Saturday we went to Sea World and saw Shamu (I think there might have been some other sea creatures there, too. Including Clydesdales, who evidently will bite you if you’re not careful, and polar bears). Afterward, we went back to the hotel and took a trolley downtown, where we had dinner and drinks at the Yardhouse. Then we went to see a Padres game (they lost to the Mariners).

Sunday, we decided to go kayaking through some caves (guided), saw garibaldi, a kelp forest, and a sea lion. Then it was time to go. I drove them back up to LAX, where they flew away. Phone conversations seem to indicate that they made it back all right.

These are all the pictures KrisDi and I had, but I think the Phoenixes (Phoenices?) have more that they didn’t want to share with me.