Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Gas rant

Gah, between the hurricane and the approach of Labor Day weekend, gas prices have shot up some more. The cheapest around here is $2.80/gallon (2038 hectares/decade) now and one station near my house is $3.05. That's for regular unleaded, not Super Deluxe Techron™ Premium with Splenda. But I guess I can't complain since many other countries are paying way more. Even so, I think my next vehicle will be a Schwinn.

Um, that's all. I'm not a very good ranter.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Well it's about time, eh?

Yes, I'm back. In fact, I've been back in California since Friday, just after 9 am when the plane descended into that yellowish haze that blankets Los Angeles like some kind of nasty blanketty thing. I've just been lazy and hadn't really gotten onto the net much. In fact I haven't really looked at the Dave blog yet because there are probably 2913843 new posts since the 16th. Anyway, now that I'm back at work, I can finally post away. (Your tax dollars at work!)

Anyway, my legions of adoring fans and blogreaders are no doubt wondering how the trip was, so here I shall endeavor to relate the whirlwind events that took place.

First I got up about 3:30 am. (Coincidentally I got up at 3:30 am coming back too. Hmmm.) I dressed and showered and got all my bags and stuff ready. I said goodbye to Ozzy and waited for the Super Shuttle to arrive. Naturally it was late. But no worries; they always pick you up way too early for the flight anyway. Next time I'm going to lie about what time my flight is so I don't have to sit around the airport for hours, enjoying a $10 Burger King breakfast. Anyway, enough about air travel... I got to Richmond, VA that afternoon where I was scooped up (not literally; that would require a fair sized scooper) by my love, the Mad Scientist and we were off to visit her aunt whose name I've already forgotten because I'm terrible about names. I mostly remember their adorable Basset Hound puppy. You may think of Basset Hounds as being lazy droopy dogs that lie under porches all day, but apparently they aren't like that as puppies. This guy wanted to play! I didn't get any pictures unfortunately. In fact, I didn't get nearly enough pictures of this whole vacation. Oh well.

Anyway, later that evening we headed back to Mad's place back in Chester. Oh I should point out that it was in the 90s or 100s and very humid. My poor deserty skin didn't know what to do. Apparently because of the sudden surplus of moisture, it tried to sweat it all back out again. Anyway, her father works in the evenings driving trucks so he was already gone for the evening. And her sister and hubby were already off to New York arranging to move there for some crazy reason. I did meet her dad's girlfriend so that was nice.

So the next day we were off to Baltimore! Mad has a friend from college there with a new baby who was quite adorable. It was the first time I'd really seen those skinny city houses that they always show on TV when they take place on the east coast. They look way too small on the outside but inside it's as if it's in another dimension and suddenly there's plenty of room. Anyway, we couldn't stick around too long because we were off to ... Washington DC to meet a bunch more bloglits! We wound up going to a pretty nice cafe-like place. I think they all tried to ditch me because when I went in search of an ATM, they all conveniently went upstairs and found a table. But I found em! Cos I'm a weasel.

The food was delicious and the waiter was quite amusing with his presentations of various dishes. Those cheesy potato things were good along with the crab cakes... mmmm... That was, I believe, the only day that I did not have a pasta dish. I was going for a record there, but unfortunately I broke it yesterday when I had ham sammiches for dinner. So cancel the call to the Guinness Book. Everyone was nice and funny and there were no coconut bras or penguin thongs to my surprise. Well, I suppose some of you may have been wearing them underneath your ordinary clothes but I didn't check.

Anyway, after that, we were back to Virginia, but it was pretty late, so again, I missed meeting daddy. But finally, on Friday (19th) I got to meet him. He seems like a pretty cool guy, very down to earth, and he didn't chase me out of the house with a shotgun* so I guess he thinks I'm ok too. I didn't see much of Chester but it looks like a nice little Virginia town. It was very green. And hot.

*He does have bullets in his car however. No sign of an actual firearm, but bullets, yes. I suppose he could threaten to throw them very hard at any attacker.

So, the next morning, we were back to the airport. Or rather, airports. I left from Richmond and Mad left from um... some other airport. She was using frequent flier miles and had to pretty much take whatever flights they gave her, and I couldn't get on those same flights without paying through the nose, so I just tried to get ones that were close. So, off to Dallas, TX, to meet my dad and stepmom.

We both had to stop in Atlanta, but alas I was taking off for Dallas by the time she arrived. Oh well. Oh yes, and on that day, the air conditioning in possibly the entire airport was not working. Everyone was fanning themselves, including employees. I found a vending machine and got a Coke and an ice cream sandwich. I think it was a plot by the Coca-Cola corporation (based in Atlanta) to get everyone to buy more Coke. It worked. Anyway, we finally made it to Dallas. My dad picked us both up. It worked out pretty well since Delta and Air Tran were very close to each other.

My dad actually lives in Irving, which is slightly northwest of Dallas and is the home of the Cowboys Stadium (unless it's the Viagra Pepsi Budweiser Office Depot Stadium; who can keep up?) It was pretty hot there too. It was pretty much 100° F all the time give or take a couple degrees. It wasn't quite as humid as VA, but it was still much more humid than CA. And it doesn't have the sense to cool off at night either. It could be 8 pm and still 99 outside. Fortunately my folks have decent AC in the house. They also have 3 dogs and 2 cats. Two Shelties named Vanna (short for Savannah) and Shel (Michelle), and one old fat weinerdog named Jackie (inexplicably nicknamed Toots). The cats are both shy, one is a grey cat named Missy, the other is a black and white one named Inky. Inky mostly stays outdoors though, only occasionally wandering in. I don't understand why a big fluffy cat would want to be outside in that heat, but whatever!

We didn't do too much except watch a whole lot of TV. We did go bowling one afternoon, but my dad has a bit of bursitis. I'm not sure how he'll manage when his leagues start up soon. I'm just glad his ticker is ok for the moment. (But that's another story) We also helped him put up a couple ceiling fans in the patio out back. So we didn't exactly see the sights of Texas but oh well. It was too hot anyway. The important thing is they seemed to like Aprille. (What's not to like?)

So, Friday the 26th at 3:30 am, we got up and headed to the airport again and flew home. I flew direct from Dallas to LAX, leaving at 8:00 am and arriving at 9:20 am. Mad flew from DFW to Milwaukee, then Milwaukee to John Wayne airport in Orange County. (much closer to her home). Her flight left nearly two hours earlier than mine, but needless to say, she got home much later. Moose were involved.

There you have it. I do have a few pictures, but I haven't downloaded them yet. I did get a shot of the Pentagon as we drove by, and of course I have some DC Bloglit pics too. OK, I should get some actual work done now I suppose.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Well, tomorrow at this time I'll be in the air winging my way toward Virginia to meet the Mad Scientist family. I'm kinda nervous, but I'm looking forward to it anyway. Plus I'll be meeting a buttload of bloglits.* I'm taking a Supershuttle to the airport, which means they'll be picking me up at 4:10 am even though the flight is at 7:20 am and the airport is an hour away in bad traffic. Oh well. I can snooze on the plane.

Invariably I'll forget to pack something important. Hopefully it's not my underwear.

*a good name for a rock band?

Friday, August 12, 2005

Happy Friday!

Well, it's another Friday at work. For those who don't know, I work as a Senior Typist Clerk (hey, I used to be merely an Intermediate Typist Clerk) at the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health.* This is just a fancy name for paper pusher. I'm basically clerical support staff. I work in the TAR or Treatment Authorization Request Unit, although these days we're calling it the Medi-Cal Inpatient Consolidation Unit. Can you tell this is a governmental agency yet? Anyway, various providers want the County to pay for their patients and we try to convince them to go stuff themselves.

But basically, I'm trying to get all caught up and even a bit ahead, since I'll be on vacation for a week and a half. How am I doing at that? Well, I'm here blogging, so ah, not so good.

In other news, my dog Ozymandius is wearing goofy looking shoes because he keeps chewing at his paws. The vet says its likely an allergic reaction, but if he stops biting at his feet, then maybe the drugs will heal it.

I saw Stealth with some friends last night, and it wasn't as awful as I feared it might be. It wasn't great, but it was a decent mindless action flick. I'd just like to think if we ever successfully develop true artificial intelligence, the first thing we do with it would NOT be to stick it in a warplane and have it go around killing people. But hey, maybe that's just the hippie liberal in me.

Have a great weekend everyone and enjoy this moose.

*Motto: "It takes one to know one."

Thursday, August 11, 2005


Well, everyone else got one, so I guess it's my turn. I don't expect this blog will be nearly as exciting as the others, but I didn't want to feel left out. I actually used to have a livejournal but I eventually got bored with it and just recently cancelled it. I also have myspace, which is highly addictive. I even made one for my dog, for heaven's sake. But, perhaps this blog will be a bit more serious and have actual happenings in my life. Yeah, sure, who am I kidding?

Things to look forward to: An account of my upcoming trip to Virginia to meet the lovely Mad Scientist's family, and then on to Texas to visit my dad with her. OK, that sentence was tortured but I hope I conveyed the idea anyway, because I'm too lazy to fix it. Since I probably won't have computer access for the trip, I'll try to get my thoughts on paper and then transfer things when I return.

For now, enjoy your coffee and I'll post again later.