point, counter-point

Please keep the noise down, so as to not upset our neighbors.
Word came down from Boss Man yesterday that I’ll be heading to Taiwan for a week in early February. I’m actually kinda excited, even though it’s going to be a breakneck pace the whole trip. I’ll be presenting all five days, so I’m sure I’ll be beat. But I kinda like going over there, it’s not too bad. Boss Man also said to prepare for “several” trips to China and Taiwan this year, since I’ll be working with those teams a lot closer. Should be interesting.

Well turns out that all that was wrong with the Ford was the alarm that the dealer installed when I bought it. I mean, I’ve thought that alarm was not quite right since the first day I got the truck back after it was installed. Seemed kinda haywire. I think they either put in a faulty alarm or wired it incorrectly – but whatever they did finally came to a head, ruining a fairly new battery and wreaking havoc on the entire electrical system. However, after disabling it, all the problems cleared up.

They also said I need new brakes and rotors, but after waffling and some advice from friends I decided to do that work on my own (or, with the help of friends I should say). Anyway, I’m gonna go over to the Ford dealer and see if they’ll do anything about the faulty alarm. My guess is I’m outta luck after three years, but it never hurts to try. It has been bad since day one, but I can’t prove that. I shoulda taken it in as soon as I suspected? owell. At least I can save some money by doing the brakes, and possibly get some compensation from Ford for the labor root causing the alarm problem.


Man, I love going to concerts in San Francisco. I love the venues there, and the trip is totally worth it to see some of these bands. Take last night for instance, the Decemberists sounded amazing. They put on a great show, rocking the sold out house until one in the morning. I mean, this show was so fun. An upright bass, an accordion, a steel guitar, a 12-string, a xylophone, and one of those blowy Casio things that I think are called EWIs. Even the opening band came out of nowhere and completely rocked. I’d never heard of them before, but they were sure fine. Another awesome show in a muggy close-quartered club, breathing other peoples’ spent breath and bobbing along to some fine tunes with friends. The alarm clock says 3:36am as I ignore the hum in my ears and collapse into bed.


Ugh! Three hours of sleep is almost worse than none! Why is the alarm going off already?! How come none of the good bands come to Sacramento? I shouldn’t have had that extra glazed sour cream at 2am, I think that was a mistake. I’m getting too old for this. But man, they sounded so great! What am I complaining about, I can sleep anytime.

Heading down to Santa Barbara this weekend to see the folks and put together their Christmas gift of a new computer. Toying with the idea of taking Monday off and making more of a trip out of the whole thing. We’ll see. Until Monday then.

Dave out.

newcastle?, you mean bud?

Mr. and Mrs. Frank Davis
What a busy past few days. I’m glad I don’t write over the weekend, because I’m not sure I would have had time.

Friday night was my brother’s wedding rehearsal dinner. It was very nice, just casual and laid back. A nice time to chat and further get to know people. At the bar before we sat down, I was again reminded that we were in FL. When I asked the bartender if they had Newcastle, he gave me an odd stare. When I followed up by asking for Guiness, he almost walked away from me. Finally, I ordered a Michelob Amber Bock and was done with it. I think he sensed that I was just some dumb yank who doesn’t worship at the alter of Anheuser Busch – and took pity on me by suggesting their darkest and most exotic brew.

When Anthony visited Florida recently, he came back having noticed a few stark differences between California and here. Firstmost, he noticed that foreign cars are nearly nonexistent here. He also noticed that from supermarkets to restaurants, you can only get the most generic, US brew beers. Both his observations have proven true by me. I never really noticed before, but you really have to go to an Irish pub or specialty beer bar to get anything other than Bud and it’s not-so-distant cousins. Strange, but I guess you only need to give ’em what they want.

Saturday was my little brother’s wedding. Man, what a crazy site to see the kid you grew up with standing in front of you getting married. It was a nice ceremony, and the reception was held to only a mild level of crunkedness (thanks Steve), despite my bro’s hoodlum friends. One thing I did think was awesome, they called my bro Frank throughout the entire wedding. The only time they referred to him as John was during the legal vows. Otherwise, even the guy marrying them called him Frank. It said “Angela and Frank” on the napkins, the DJ called him Frank, and even his wife calls him only Frank. I was so proud of my nicknaming abilities I stole a couple napkins so I could keep them for souvenirs. If you don’t know the Frank/John story, check out the bro’s entry in the Cast of Characters page, this paragraph will make more sense then.

Aside from the wedding, we’ve visited with a whole mess of people we haven’t seen in a long time. I drank some beers on the deck of the Cocoa Beach Hilton with a couple guys I haven’t really seen since high school. We visited Sharaun’s grandfather, aunt, uncle, cousin, and others. I finally met Jeremy & Jess’ new little boy, and got to hang out with them for a while. So we’ve been making the rounds.

Well, I’m off. Today we visit more grandparents, more old friends, and have dinner with Bob from FL. Seems like another action packed day to keep us busy.

Dave out.

legions of evil conspiring

Ho ho ho!
Merry Christmas y’all! Despite the legions of evil seemingly joining forces to conspire against us, we are now at cruising altitude on our last leg of the journey to FL. Evil you say? Oh yes, evil – listen up and I’ll rap it to ya.

In order to save a little dough on long-term parking at the airport, we set up a “carpool” thing withSteve & Ragan. We took them to the airport around 5pm, dropped them off, and left them with my set of keys. Since they get back before us, they’ll get the car, and then come and pick us up when we return. That way we get to split the cost of parking between the two of us. All went as planned, and Sharaun and I returned home to finish up packing and readying for the trip. Our flight was set to leave at 10:30pm, so we planned on leaving the house around 8:30.

As we were getting ready to leave, I was burning a dvd of all our latest photos so we could show her family, and Sharaun needed to get her backpack out of her trunk. She got her set of keys from me, and went into the garage. A few minutes later she came back to me and asked me for the keys again. When I told her that she still had them from before, she said something like “oh crap.” Turns out she had locked her set of keys, the only set of keys we had since we gave mine to Steve & Ragan, in the trunk of her car. As we panicked and I tried to jimmy the lock with a coat hanger, Sharaun also realized that her ID was locked in the car. So, even if we could manage to get to the airport somehow, we wouldn’t be able to board the flight. By now it’s 8pm, and we’re supposed to be leaving in half an hour. Sharaun got on the phone with AAA and they said they could have someone there in 45min or loss – it would be cutting it close, but it was the best we could do. Thankfully, the AAA guy arrived in a mere 10min. The car was unlocked and we were on the road by 8:38pm. A bad situation narrowly averted, but that’s just the beginning. (As a sidenote, this is at least the 3rd time I know of that Sharaun has had to call AAA because she’s locked her keys in her car. She usually doesn’t mention it to me out of embarrassment, but at least were getting our money’s worth out of ’em.)

Once at the airport, we discovered that the day’s earlier flight to Atlanta (our connection on the way to Orlando) had been cancelled, and there were people that had been waiting nearly 10hrs for the next flight – out flight. Needless to say, that plane was completely overbooked, and Sharaun and I didn’t get to sit together. Upon getting on the plane, I walked down the aisle looking for my appointed seat with fingers crossed. When I saw the hulking whale of a woman who would be overflowing into my seat for the next three and a half hours, I knew it was gonna be lovely. This beast of a lady made it impossible to sit in a normal fashion, instead I folded my body like origami and sandwiched myself between her mass and the window. Did I mention she smelled like shellac? No? Well maybe that’s because she didn’t really, in fact, I don’t even know what shellac smells like – I just really like that word and think it would be funny to describe someone as “smelling like shellac.” Anyway, her breath was bad, and each yawn sent a toxic blast my way.

So, here I am cowering beneath this side-show lady – and the captain comes on to inform us that the “auxiliary power unit” on our aircraft is not working. This means we have no air circulation while the engines aren’t running. This means it’s hot as crap on this plane as we sit for what seems like an hour. I might as well have worn my trunks, because my balls were swimming. The plane finally gets underway, about 50min late. What a coincidence, we have a 50min layover in Atlanta that has just been negated. As we take off, I realize that there are about 700 babies on this flight, and the two kids in front of me aren’t going to get along at all. Ugh, I bend my neck like a contortionist, look down the aisle to where Sharaun’s sitting, and do my best to ignore it all. Just as we climb into the air, the captain comes on again to let us know that this will be a particularly turbulent flight. Grand.

We finally arrive in Atlanta, and we have about 15min to make our connection. Once again our situation is looking iffy, but once again things work out. They end up holding the plane to Orlando, since so many from our flight are trying to make that connection. We do a speed-walk to the terminal, and once again aren’t sitting together. And that brings us to the present: I sit on the plane and wait to get to Orlando. At least we made it.

The girl in front of me is reading a US Weekly magazine. The actual printed headline on the cover of the magazine reads: “Jennifer Aniston’s Hot New Haircut.” Holy crap. That’s the lead story in this magazine? I can’t even fathom what other stories might be in there. Who the crap cares about Jennifer Anniston’s haircut? I wonder if each time she cuts her hair she gets a headline? That could make you have a big head. People are insane. A real headline would be “Jennifer Aniston loses head in lion fight,” or something a little more interesting. Maybe then I’d buy it.

Dave out.

great gifts all around

Off we go into the wild blue!
This blog upload comes a little later than usual, but here it is.

So, Christmas Eve. Sharaun and I exchanged presents today rather than pack all our gifts round trip to FL just to unwrap them. We both made out really well. I got the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers extreme collectors edition, with the little Gollum figurine and all. Five dvds worth of stuff, yeehaw. I think we were both happy with the loot. Last night we tried to get into the Christmas spirit: we drove around town looking at Christmas lights, and then came back and watched both Charlie Brown Christmas specials on dvd. It was fun.

Today will be spent cleaning and packing for the trip. We leave tonight at 10 o’clock. Heard on the news that some flights from France to LA were canceled for security reasons, great. If you hear anything on the news about Delta 1124 or 329, that’s us. Hopefully the only news story will be about how the crew gave out $500 to each passenger or something. I’m sure it will be plenty uneventful, and hopefully I can get some sleep. We get into Orlando around 7:45am on Christmas morning, talk about crappy flying times – but hey, it was dirt cheap. We should be at Sharaun’s folks’ place by 9ish, and we’ll do presents then.

For Christmas gifts thus far, it’s been a great year for me. Great gifts all around. I got a flask, that’s right! A real-deal drinkin’ flask like honest-to-goodness priests carry at all times. I got some homestar runner figurines. I got an *awesome* all-in-one Namco game controller. You know the kind you plug into the AV inputs on the TV, and all it is is a joystick, but the joystick contains five classic Namco games – including Pac-Man. How awesome is that!? I got a boatload of clothes, more books in the current series I’m reading, a much-needed umbrella, and more. Plus my folks got us an awesome set of Henckel knives for the house, because our old knife set is totally busted. All in all it’s been an awesome year for both giving and getting.

Well, Merry Christmas erryone. Hope you all keep it sincerely crunk for your holiday celebrations. I know we will do our best.


christmas and weddings

Huh what?
This weekend was cool. Saturday we went to see Return of the King, which I thought was absolutely incredible. The scenery was breathtaking, the characters were perfect, and the story was well told. I enjoyed it so much, and I can’t wait to hand over my hard-earned cash for the super-deluxe fifteen-disc collectors edition. After that we went to Ben’s crib. It was there that I discovered Vice City. Oh man, my Xbox has been in the closet for almost seven months – but after playing that game for 5 hours Saturday night, I pulled it down from it’s retirement and kicked off a BitTorrent download of Vice City. The game is sooo fun. After all the negative press, I was sure I’d be disgusted by it – but it’s just too rad to deny.

My brother gets married in less than a week, I’m actually really excited about going to the ceremony. I can’t believe both us kids are hitched. It really has been a long time since the days of Saturday Morning Cartoons.

I honestly have nothing to write. Christmas is almost here and we’ll be jetting of to Florida on the 24th to arrive on Christmas morning. I’ll be taking the laptop in hopes of blogging while there, but I’m not sure if I’ll write or not. I’ll at least try to write once during the week, but who knows. Sharaun and I are doing our Christmas on Christmas Eve morning, since we don’t want to haul all our gifts to Florida. I’m actually quite proud of the gifts I got for her this year, more thought and went into it than previous years, and I think she’ll be happy with most of it.

Dave out.

back from the lodge

they hurt from 5ft
Ahhh… the middle child of the year-end holiday blitz has come and gone. Too bad, since I’m thrust back into the loads of work I put off in anticipation of my time off. Now I’ve got to work double hard (which is about 1/5 of a normal person’s regular work) to catch up. Anyway… Thanksgiving was great. I was holed up in the Strawberry Lodge, eating, drinking, and reading by the fire. Oh, and napping… did a fair bit o’ napping too. I came home feeling awesome, rested, full-bellied, and all-around radical.

As you may have noticed, I wasn’t able to blog at the lodge – what’s more, is that I didn’t even want to blog at the lodge. A couple times I pulled out the trusty laptop and thought about powering it on and writing, but I ultimately decided not to. It was nice, but it does mark the first time since the blog’s inception that weekdays were missed. It’s cool tho, I got nuthin’ but love for the blog.

Oh, and speaking of the blog – the dang comment script is still broken. And the lovely people at my hosting company have been ignoring my “critical site issue” support e-mails since Wednesday of last week. Nothing I can do at this point except wait around to hear from them. Now’s the time when I wish I had my own server. Bah.

Got back home on Saturday and watched the Florida vs. Florida State game, that stunk. Then watched a really cool movie about compulsive gambling. Being at the lodge, removed from TV and internet and phone – my reading cycle seems to have started back up again. See, I’m a big fan of reading for pleasure. However, I don’t always do it. I’ll get started on reading, and read faithfully every night for months at a time, devouring book after book. I read fantasy almost exclusively, I just love ’em. I know… it’s way nerdy, but that is the one genre that I most enjoy – as long as it’s quality fantasy and not crap. Melissa always makes fun of me for reading nothing but “troll books” with castles and dragons on the covers. For real tho, they could make the covers less conspicuous… those books scream D&D math-major from 30ft. Owell, whatever. Anyway… I’m back to reading, and hopefully it’ll last. Problem is, sometimes I’ll put down the book for a few days and not pick it up again for months. That’s how my pleasure reading goes: off and on.

Today I’m wearing those dark-as-night jeans again… I really don’t like the way they look. But hey, they fit. And for that they get worn. I’m gonna try and experiment tonight where I throw them in the washer with some bleach, maybe I can tone ’em down a bit. Whatever. Like I care.

Yesterday I invented the impromptu project of putting up Christmas lights on the house. I got me a staple gun and some gutter hooks and a whole mess of icicle lights. Everything went awesome, and the house looks great. I did, however, manage to drop a hammer on my skull – in true my-project fashion. I have this habit of forgetting I left the hammer on top of the ladder, and then going to move the ladder and having the hammer come toppling down. Usually it hits the ground and I breathe a little sigh of relief that it didn’t coldcock me. This time it coldcocked me, right on the forehead. It hurt down into my teeth.

OK I’m off, time to get ready for work. Dave out.

a thing for folding

It's a $20, I swear...
I’m pretty sure I have what Freud referred to as an “oral fixation.” Wait, it’s not as bad as it sounds. Despite what a Google search turns up on the term (porn rules the internet, it would seem), a latent (or adulthood) oral fixation manifests mostly in things like nailbiting, smoking, chewing on junk, etc. Man do I have that. I gnaw on everything. Straws, plastic bottle caps, my own cheek, etc. I don’t typically chew on pen caps, and I don’t bite my nails. I’m more like a goat, just munching on whatever happens to be around. Yesterday Wes came in my cube and asked what I was chewing on… and I wasn’t really shocked when I said “I dunno… I found it on my desk.”

I also have a thing with folding and/or crumpling. If there’s a piece of paper, or any foldable material for that matter, in my hand – I’ll subconsciously fold and crumple it. I do it with stuff that I shouldn’t too, like balling up a receipt while I’m standing in line to return the item that I got it for. I usually only realize what I’m doing when I look down at it. As a kid, I remember being fascinated by repeatedly crumpling and smoothing paper until it had the consistency of cotton. Jeez, maybe my dad was right… maybe I am crazy.

Frank wrote me again, and said he would be doing the gas chamber on what was this past Monday. Man, that must suck. Glad I’m not brave enough, or called by some crazy sense of duty, to go into the Army. No, really, I’m quite proud of him. He and Angela are planning to get married sometime around Christmas, so strange to think of my bro being married. What are those kids gonna be like?

This is the 58th blog entry I’ve done. I don’t think I’ve missed a day yet (not counting weekends). That’s insane.

Dave out.