Chuckling at Circumstances (T-200)

Reading one’s own thoughts/rants from a few years ago can be awfully entertaining.

I was looking at my uber-Rant from Nellis AFB in 2004. If any of you remember, it was the one I actually went to the trouble of password-protecting because I just went OFF. And when I first started to read it, I tried to remember what the issue was – and I couldn’t. But then I started reading it and not surprisingly, I got PISSED OFF again. At those people. At myself. At the things I should have said and could have said. Why did I get mad again? Literally, that’s been almost 2 and a half years ago when all that shit went down. But it’s just the fact that there are so many things that I guess I wish I had done differently. That’s potentially the curse of having kept this website going for so long – if I choose to, I can go back and see, in gory detail, some of those things that took me to really low places. And then re-examine them. For better or for worse. What pisses me off also is that I make the same mistakes it seems. I’m a relatively smart man – you’d think I’d have learned a few lessons or so. It just seems that some of the important lessons I continue to forget.

Example: From growing up, I have learned to keep my mouth shut. Even when I want to say lots and lots, I had one incident I’ll never forget that to this day reminds me that my true opinions of things are better left unsaid. And while I’m certainly not one to not say anything, to say that my true words have come out ‘unfiltered’ at any time since that incident would be a straight-up lie. I honestly don’t know the last time I’ve ever not censored my thoughts. I’ve learned in the interim how to craft my sentences and words in such a way so I don’t come across as the raging asshole I really am. Instead, I make you sound like a raging asshole. And it makes me happy. But the counter-lesson to this is that I think I’ve had enough of not saying the utter truth of what needs to be said. There are so many people’s feelings out there in the world that have been spared because of what I chose not to say. Perhaps I’ve kept a lot more of my friends and family because of it – but I think there’s also times, especially now, when what I want to really say would probably help things in the long run. Oh geez, I’m rambling now. I certainly didn’t say I have learned to ‘edit’ myself, did I?

Today was my first day of not being the straight-up Flight CC. I didn’t like it. Sure, I was able to play the affable Hobie Barnes, but frankly, I am fucking done with the Air Force. 200 more days? Fucking stab a pencil in my eye. Going back to what I said above, there’s SOOOOO much I just want to say…. and can’t.

Alright, I need to tighten the filter some more. I think I got set off by the events of the day and night, going back and reading that rant of mine, and just overall realizing I want to just be me. I’m tired of the censored me. He’s boring. And he talks about himself in the third-person, and that is just obnoxious.

Well, it’s 200 days left. Whooptie-freaking-doo! 🙂 I am stoked there’s a 4-day weekend coming up – tentatively, there’s plans to go back to Keystone for a day of skiing on Friday, and then also going to the Coors Brewery on Sunday. The rest of the time? Who knows, who cares?

Who’s Going to London? (T-201)

That would be ME! Indeed, I’ll be returning to my favorite European city at the end of March. And I couldn’t be happier about it, let me tell you!

You know, I’ve been meaning to get back to the website for a while (sounds familiar, I know…) but frankly the past few weeks haven’t been too exciting except me being mostly depressed about crap. But I think I snapped myself out of that nonsense by the end of last week. Namely because I decided to go ahead and just go on the damn trip with Jeff, even if I’m supposed to be deputy during that time. I had been planning on going on this trip for so long – I’m not going to let some misplaced guilt keep me from going. Part of my depression was caused by thinking I wasn’t going to go on this trip anymore because it started in March – but after talking to Jeff about it, well, as you can see, I’ve booked my flight and in less than two months, I’ll be headed back to London (SWEET!!!!!) and even going to Normandy for a re-enlistment ceremony that Jeff is officiating. The ceremony will literally be on the beaches of Normandy – how freakin’ cool is that? That was one of the main reasons I was so excited about going on this trip. Also going to see London AND Paris again is something I just can’t pass up. Doing this though means my Vegas plans are definitely not until September – going to have to save money for that trip. And oh what a party that shall be too!

Okay, what else? Good news for Kyle and Adam, two of the Lts that work for me. They had applied to cross-train to become a pilot and an ABM, and the results were coming out at the beginning of the month – and fortunately, they both Made It! We found out that Adam is leaving in March (so fast!) and that Kyle is sticking around until November (his UPT doesn’t start till then). I’m really happy for both of them and wish them the best of success in their future operational career with the Air Force.

Speaking of Air Force careers (or the lack of), I have to get crackin’ on writing my own damn resume. I’ve been thinking about what Bradley-Morris has been working for me, and I think I’m going to cancel out of the Chicago hiring conference. I really don’t want to live out there. I’m still going to go to San Diego, and I think I’ll be trading Chicago’s conference for one in Austin. But even more importantly, I’ve decided I can try to see what jobs are out here in Colorado Springs. I thought I would be willing to give it up easily, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized I LOVE it here. I really really love my house, I love my friends here, and I think that I could totally stay here for a while. Not forever, but a few more years at least. Build up the value of the house, wait till my friends PCS, and then think about going elsewhere. So I’ve got a lot of work to do to figure out all this. I’m getting scared! If you noticed the green countdown numbers above, I’m a day over 200 left to go till I’m done. WOAH!!!!!!

I had a lot to write about – or so I thought. Every time I thought about sitting down to type up an update, I realized I wasn’t all that motivated to do it. I’ve bought a lot of clothes and furniture stuff for my house – plus today I finally put up most of my pictures in my bedroom and I actually used my drill to put up shelves in the bedroom too. Can you believe it? I haven’t made any progress on the bathroom – I think I scared myself out of doing it. I still really want to, but I am so afraid of fucking it up. I just need to rip out the vanity cabinet and then I’ll be FORCED to do it.

Here’s some recaps on my TV viewing habits:

24: I’m enjoying this season, but it’s a far cry from the glorious Season 5. The plotlines seemed very forced and I really don’t care about any of the characters all that much. Maybe this is going to be like the Ontario Airport section of Season 5 – they just needed to get the ball rolling and then the season will knock into fifth gear… Besides the death of Curtis and the reveal (and subsequent death) of Jack’s brother, there hasn’t been too much excitement that really gets you going. Even Chloe hasn’t been as awesome as usual. When is the other shoe going to drop?

Ugly Betty: Good God, I couldn’t love this show anymore if I tried. Rebecca Romijn as Daniel’s brother-turned-sister is inspired. Judith Light as Daniel’s mother is awesome (so hard to see her as Angela from Who’s the Boss anymore). I loved the show at Fashion Week with Hilda and Betty at odds with each other. Henry and Betty’s doomed romance is so involving. And good riddance to Walter, although he actually was somewhat likable once he dumped Betty. And of course, the cattiness of Wilhelmina, Amanda and Marc continue to make this show must-watch material. I can never get enough of this show. Favortie scene from last week: Alexis (Rebecca Romijn) making Daniel slap himself and yelling at him: “Why are you hitting yourself? Why are you hitting yourself?” And the dramatic plot reveal at the end of last week’s episode (the true killer of Faye Sommers was revealed) was much more gripping than anything 24 has done this season so far. If you haven’t started watching this show, do yourself a favor and watch it!

Survivor: Fiji: Okay, I haven’t done a page for this season and I have no intention of doing so. But let me just say that this season has started off with so much promise already. The entire cast is engaging so far, there was drama, and the game twists thus far have been pretty interesting. 19 castaways – not an even number this time. The ‘leader’ (Sylvia) picking the two tribes, and THEN getting sent to Exile Island right afterwards by Jeff Probst. Having all 19 people on one beach for the first two days building up a SWEET shelter and camp – only to then be split, with the winners of immunity returning to Camp Luxury and the losing tribe going to a new beach with just a machete. And these wildly divergent camps do not seem to be poised to be awarded to winners and losers. I think the one tribe is stuck at the pathetic camp from here on out – unless next week’s episode tells us otherwise. Should make for an interesting (although potentially pathetic) dynamic at challenges.

Amazing Race: All Stars: This hasn’t started yet, but I did panic while typing this up. Suddenly I thought I had forgotten about the premiere tonight – but that isn’t till NEXT Sunday. Whew….

Okay, enough is enough. This upcoming week is a short week, and I think I’ll be 50/50 at my flight and at the squadron front office gleaning info from the deputy while he’s here. We get a 4-day weekend (Woo Hoo! I love February) – not sure if I’m doing anything exciting, but whatever. 4 days off? I’m there.

And here are some random pics from the past few weeks:

Random Feb Pics

Me in my mess dress before the Annual Awards Banquet
Me in my mess dress before the Annual Awards Banquet01-Feb-2007 18:10, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 50
01-Feb-2007 18:11, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 50
01-Feb-2007 18:11, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 50
 
Magnum, Jeff's schnauzer
Magnum, Jeff's schnauzer04-Feb-2007 14:15, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 10.0, 15.4375mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 50
Kahlua, Jeremy's mix
Kahlua, Jeremy's mix04-Feb-2007 14:15, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 4.0, 15.4375mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 50
Another of Kahlua
Another of Kahlua04-Feb-2007 14:15, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 4.9, 22.21875mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 50
 
There's Magnum again
There's Magnum again04-Feb-2007 14:16, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 4.9, 22.21875mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 50
Pic of my new mirror in the upstairs hallway
Pic of my new mirror in the upstairs hallway11-Feb-2007 19:39, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 200
Once more, with feeling
Once more, with feeling11-Feb-2007 19:39, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 200
 

And I just finished rewatching Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal back-to-back. Those were really good, SCARY movies. I had forgotten how damn graphic Hannibal was. blech. I have absolutely no interest in seeing Hannibal Rising though. That looks just like a damned horror movie. No gracias.

Black Diamond, Baby! (T-215)

Yep – I conquered one of my ski endeavors this weekend – the Keystone run called DiamondBack was totally my bitch!

I’ve returned from SnoFest! at Keystone without a broken bone or two! Incredible! Anyways, as promised, I have downloaded my pictures from the trip and posted them here. I must provide advance warning: some of the pics are very nice and pretty and blah blah blah – and some of the pictures are straight-up pics taken by and of drunk people. So if you can’t deal with that, bitch don’t care. I’ll expound on that last little phrase next month.

To recap the trip though: Awesomeness squared. There was no drama as potentially expected, everyone had a great time, no one got hurt, and the skiing was outstanding. We took off early Friday morning after combining people into two cars at Kyle’s house. On the way up, just right on Powers, Tom’s Explorer caught the ice wrong and spun out – fortunately that was the beginning and the end of the bad luck for the trip. Luckily he and his passengers weren’t hurt and the car was fine. The trek up to Keystone was uneventful as the weather was frickin’ beautiful. We then got ourselves parked and ready to go skiing, as we couldn’t check into the condo until the evening. And so we skied. And skied some more. Keystone really is a great resort – I didn’t really get to see much of it that first trip I took there last March, and during this trip, I got to see quite a few more runs on the front side of the mountain and take on some of the back side of the mountain, which is pretty advanced. What is cool about Keystone is that the length of the runs is very very long. You literally ski down the whole mountain, and some of the runs are 3 miles long or so. So you get a lot of turns, various steepness, potential for lots of speed, and an entertaining run in before you have to get back on the lifts. I’ve noticed that at Breckenridge, the runs aren’t quite as long as Keystone – but you do have many more to choose from than at Keystone. Regardless, it’s a very fun resort. On the second day of skiing was when I finally built up the courage to try a black diamond run. I had told myself to go for it this trip, but I was very willing to talk myself out of it though. Fortunately, I ended up running into Dave who talked up the DiamondBack trail. So I caught his enthusiasm and Kyle, Dave and I went down the trail. Of course, I had to take photos at the beginning and end of the trail – it’s not everyday you get to break your Black Diamond cherry. I will say that my heart was definitely beating superfast. I imagine that this isn’t the hardest of black diamonds to ski, but it certainly is long and steep. It starts off innocuously enough at the end of a little green bunny slope area (I kid you not) at the top of the mountain, but then you round a bend and see where the run pretty much slopes into the wham-o ‘black-diamond’ part. As you approach it, you can actually see the bottom and you realize that the bottom is VERY far down there and you have to ski to it to reach it. Well, I was there, so no turning around now. I felt pretty good while skiing down the run, especially when I saw other newbies trying to ski down it and who definitely looked a lot more scared than me. Before I knew it, I was down the mountain though, and it was awesome.

Jeremy also came up on Saturday, and we ended up all skiing around that afternoon, eventually meeting up to watch the Cardboard Derby set up for SnoFest. Basically people build various vehicles out of cardboard to race down the bunny slope. You hope to make it all the way to the finish line with an intact vehicle and not having to push it. Most do not meet these goals. But there were some that knocked that goal out of the park, including the NORAD bobsled team (freakin’ Fast!), the Short Yellow Bus, a giant Cricket cell phone, and a Viking warship. Some of these people got very creative. After watching that for a little bit, it was time to Night Ski! That is a definite fun experience, as the trails are much less crowded and the snow is great to ski on, as the iciness is mostly gone. Cheeks (I mean, Jeremy), KD, Eric and I went nightskiing for a while (Jeff went as well, but wanted to knock out more skiing without waiting) together, and of course fun was had by all.

I don’t want to leave out all the ridiculous fun had at night. The first night was pretty mellow, as we were all pretty damn tired, but not too tired to play some Karaoke Revolution! And of course drink. Which I did a lot of. No hangover the next day – woo hoo! Then on Saturday night, after night skiing, Jeremy, KD, Eric and I went out and got some pizza in the Keystone Village area. And of course drank. Then we went next door to Parrot Eyes bar, where we met up with Dave and Dallas, and of course we drank. Not to mention take lots of stupid pictures. As you’ll see below. Some hideous pics are also below. Then we went back to the lodge, and of course continued to drink (our driver, Eric, did NOT drink of course though – we are responsible people here!). That was when Jeremy and I probably should have stopped drinking, but c’est la vie. So even though we were hungover today, it was still lots of fun. The four of us stayed to do some more skiing this last day, but for me, the conditions were too icy; also, I think all the tiredness was catching up to me, I was still a bit hungover, and on one of the blue runs on the back of the mountain, I wiped out once and had to ski the gauntlet (what I call it, as basically you have to ski down this super-steep part of the mountain that everybody at the base is looking up at – so there’s like 200 people watching you ski or fall…) right afterwards. I was done. Everybody else had left in the morning, so I rode with Jeremy back to the Springs. All in all, a great weekend vacation!

And now, the pics:

SnoFest 2007 @ Keystone, Day 1: Friday, 26 Jan 07

Melissa in the car on the way upMelissa in the car on the way up
Melissa in the car on the way up26-Jan-2007 07:46, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 50
KD tooKD too
KD too26-Jan-2007 07:46, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 50
Jeff, the fearless driverJeff, the fearless driver
Jeff, the fearless driver26-Jan-2007 07:46, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 50
 
Hobie, the idiotic cameramanHobie, the idiotic cameraman
Hobie, the idiotic cameraman26-Jan-2007 07:47, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 50
Sleeping MelissaSleeping Melissa
Sleeping Melissa26-Jan-2007 08:06, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 50
26-Jan-2007 08:06, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 50
 
KD daresKD dares
KD dares26-Jan-2007 08:07, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 50
There's Keystone!There's Keystone!
There's Keystone!26-Jan-2007 10:03, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 10.0, 15.4375mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 50
Jeff at the summitJeff at the summit
Jeff at the summit26-Jan-2007 11:16, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 7.1, 7.40625mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 50
 
Melissa and KD at the topMelissa and KD at the top
Melissa and KD at the top26-Jan-2007 11:17, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 7.1, 7.40625mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 50
There's me, not paying attentionThere's me, not paying attention
There's me, not paying attention26-Jan-2007 11:17, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 7.1, 7.40625mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 50
Breckenridge, in the distanceBreckenridge, in the distance
Breckenridge, in the distance26-Jan-2007 11:22, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 13.0, 22.21875mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 50
 
26-Jan-2007 11:22, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 11.0, 18.34375mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 50
Jeff and BreckJeff and Breck
Jeff and Breck26-Jan-2007 11:22, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 13.0, 22.21875mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 50
KD and BreckKD and Breck
KD and Breck26-Jan-2007 11:22, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 4.9, 22.21875mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 50
 

SnoFest 2007 @ Keystone, Day 2: Saturday, 27 Jan 07

Eric, pro skier and gold medal winner at the racesEric, pro skier and gold medal winner at the races
Eric, pro skier and gold medal winner at the races27-Jan-2007 08:24, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 3.5, 10.8125mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 77
Jeff and Melissa prepare for a long day of lodge livingJeff and Melissa prepare for a long day of lodge living
Jeff and Melissa prepare for a long day of lodge living27-Jan-2007 08:25, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 3.5, 10.8125mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 102
Me before my first-ever Black Diamond run!!!!Me before my first-ever Black Diamond run!!!!
Me before my first-ever Black Diamond run!!!!27-Jan-2007 11:19, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 7.1, 7.40625mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 50
 
If I had to die today on the black diamond, that's one helluva viewIf I had to die today on the black diamond, that's one helluva view
If I had to die today on the black diamond, that's one helluva view27-Jan-2007 11:21, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 7.1, 7.40625mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 50
Dave and Kyle there to usher me in to the clubDave and Kyle there to usher me in to the club
Dave and Kyle there to usher me in to the club27-Jan-2007 11:21, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 7.1, 7.40625mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 50
I survived!I survived!
I survived!27-Jan-2007 11:31, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 7.1, 7.40625mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 50
 
Looking towards Breckenridge and the weather over thereLooking towards Breckenridge and the weather over there
Looking towards Breckenridge and the weather over there27-Jan-2007 14:53, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 10.0, 15.4375mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 50
Me tooMe too
Me too27-Jan-2007 14:53, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 10.0, 15.4375mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 50
KD, Eric, Melissa, Jeff and Jeremy at the Cardboard DerbyKD, Eric, Melissa, Jeff and Jeremy at the Cardboard Derby
KD, Eric, Melissa, Jeff and Jeremy at the Cardboard Derby27-Jan-2007 16:02, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 50
 
This Bitch Don't CareThis Bitch Don't Care
This Bitch Don't Care27-Jan-2007 16:02, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 50
Me in the pic this timeMe in the pic this time
Me in the pic this time27-Jan-2007 16:02, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 50
Not sure what happened hereNot sure what happened here
Not sure what happened here27-Jan-2007 16:03, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 50
 
The Cardboard derbyThe Cardboard derby
The Cardboard derby27-Jan-2007 16:05, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 4.9, 22.21875mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 50
The contestants lined upThe contestants lined up
The contestants lined up27-Jan-2007 16:05, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 4.9, 22.21875mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 50
KD and Eric at the Pizza placeKD and Eric at the Pizza place
KD and Eric at the Pizza place27-Jan-2007 20:03, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 50
 

Headed to SnoFest (T-219)

6 weekends -> 6 snowstorms. That’s gotta be a record.

Literally, every weekend we get snow – it’s nowhere near as heavy as it was the first two weekends, but without fail, we’ll get a few inches of snow each weekend. Meanwhile, the entire rest of the week is usually sunny and clear, although frickin’ cold. I must say though that it’s nice to see the rest of the midwest and Texas getting all sorts of snow and cold weather too. I’m glad Colorado was able to spread on the wealth to the rest of you guys.

Anyways, yes, it’s been a few weeks or so since I’ve updated and I just wanted to chime in with what has been going on before heading to SnoFest this weekend up at Keystone. SnoFest is this huge weekend party at Keystone resort wherein all the Colorado Springs’ military base personnel get together and take over the mountain (basically). It’s an excuse to give us another day off (yep, we get this Friday off meaning I haven’t worked an actual ‘full’ work week in literally two months) and to go skiing for an entire weekend. It should be good times, and about 9 of us have rented a very nice condo to live and party in – so that should be fun, and here’s hoping for no drama. I’ll post pics (of course) when I return.

So like I said, it’s been pretty much blah at work – so not much to talk about there. Oh wait, I guess there is some interesting news that developed last week that both thrilled and bummed me out. Part I of the information is that in March, the deputy squadron commander is going to be taking sick leave in order to have surgery. In the meantime, I will be stepping in as deputy Squadron CC!! For an entire month. Whoa! Finding out this information was pretty cool news – because it gives me a chance to help get the squadron back on track as the current commander is seriously in need of help. I obviously can’t go into as much as I’d like on this website, as that damn UCMJ is always there with the key to Leavenworth, but let’s just say she’s not doing that great of a job here. So I was stoked about that news. I’ll get my shot at being almost a squadron commander before getting out – sweet. But then the other shoe dropped the next day, as I heard that initial news through unofficial channels. When I was told it officially, I also was told that I would NOT be coming back as flight commander in April when the deputy commander returns. At all. Instead, my current deputy, Melissa, who puts Captain rank on in May, will take over for good once I leave in late February. I’m not thrilled about this news for two main reasons: first, I really like being flight CC – that’s been the only thing that has made this assignment worth having. So not returning to this is kinda shocking, as I wasn’t mentally prepared to have to say goodbye to that post this early. I had figured I’d be flight cc until the summer or so…WRONG! Second, that means I pretty much have no real job from April to the end of August. Allegedly I become ‘Special Project’ officer, basically meaning that whatever the commanders don’t want to deal with, I get to. In my mind, this new job means I come in at 0900 and leave at 1500 (3pm). I’m just sayin’.

So that’s the work fun. I hope the month of March doesn’t suck too much.

In other news, I’ve been spending money like it’s going out of style. Last week I went to Men’s Wearhouse and bought my first-ever suit. I knew I’d need one to interview with and potentially work in depending on the next job I’d get, and I have never owned a true suit before. It’s a pretty sharp suit, and one day when I actually put the whole thing on, I’ll take some pics to show off the new threads. I also bought some sweet shirts and ties as well as a new pair of loafers, and all in all dropped a load of cash on it, but it’s definitely an investment. I then bought an iPod finally after having resisted for soooooo long. I just got tired of how iPod-centric all the electronics are nowadays – everything’s a stereo plus an iPod-dock – but you can never plug in directly any other type of MP3 player. Plus, you really can’t beat how the iPod interface is – it’s such a clean and efficient way to navigate through your music. My Rio Carbon was such a bitch to use because it took forever to get to your music, especially if you had a lot of it. But my new 80GB black iPod is so awesome and I don’t regret finally upgrading. Now I can get all those cool iPod toys too. I also went and bought some new winter clothes up in Denver and down here in the Springs, including a very sweet long black overcoat. Men’s Wearhouse wanted to sell me a cashmere one for $500 (on sale from $800), and while I’d love to have bought it, that was just a bit much for me at the time. So I went to Burlington Coat Factory and bought a wool/cashmere blend for $180 that is still quite comfortable and looks pretty damn good on me. It’s great for being a bit more dressy and especially while wearing a suit. In fact, I ended up wearing it when going with my friends to see Mamma Mia this past Sunday at the Pikes Peak Performing Arts Center. I never get tired of that musical apparently. It really is good, and I was impressed at how good the cast was in this touring company version of it. Everybody else I went with liked it too, which is not a surprise. Afterwards, some folks went home, but Jeremy and Melissa and I stayed out and went drinking at Jack Quinn’s Irish Pub just a few steps away. It was a ‘school night’, but I just didn’t care and realized I’d pay the price the next day – so 5 beers later, I was feeling pretty damn good. And amazingly, this Monday I didn’t feel as horrendous as expected. Tired, yes, but not nearly as hungover as I should have been. Yay!

And in one last bit of reporting, I have been working with Bradley-Morris, Inc. What’s Bradley-Morris, Inc. you ask? Well, it’s a company that specializes in placing separating or retiring military officers into corporate America. That’s me! They had a 2-hour seminar last week about just how they work, what you can expect, and to answer any questions people had concerning them. My ‘agent’, Justin, and I have talked a few times since then, and basically I’m stoked about how things are progressing. In June and July, I’ll be headed to some hiring conferences, one in Chicago and one in San Diego. At these conferences, the interviews are already scheduled and planned out, so it’s not as you might be thinking, like a giant convention or something. They have hiring conferences all around the country, but with what I’m interested in doing, Justin seemed to think Chicago and San Diego will be the best bets for successful matches at that time. These are regional conferences, so basically going to Chicago and San Diego means I’m hoping for jobs in those general regions. San Diego would of course be awesome, as it covers all of California and the southwest. Chicago is definitely a region I wasn’t certain about, but thinking about it, I would definitely be up for giving Chicago a try. The unfortunate news I learned though is that Colorado Springs/Denver and San Antonio/Austin are both primarily military/defense-driven economies, and frankly, I don’t want to work in those industries anymore. I’m not shutting myself out of those completely just yet, as if the right opportunity comes up, I will consider it, especially if I can stay here. But that will remain to be seen. So who knows, I may find myself either back in California or perhaps learning a new lifestyle, Chicago-style. That’s a whole lotta speculation in this paragraph, admittedly. In the meantime, I am confronted with the foundation-level tasks of creating a resume, compiling references, creating a ‘Hobie Barnes is wonderful’ book with all my OPRs, decorations, etc in it, and just getting myself competitive to be hired. Which leads to a question to all you out there: if you have some jobs opening up where you work, no matter the industry, hook a Hobie up and let me know!

Oh yeah, on a 24 Note – how freaking good has this season been so far? Jack kills Curtis! A suitcase nuke takes out Valencia (what happened to Six Flags Magic Mountain?)! The ultimate bad-guy overseer from last season was Jack’s Brother! Jack is REALLY pissed at his brother! Wayne Palmer sucks as a president!

Breck Overnighter (T-234)

I’m back again – just in time for another snowstorm! Yep, that’ll make it 4 storms for 4 weeks. Lucky us in Colorado!

Okay, again, not planning on writing all that much but I did want to catch you up with what I’ve been up to. Like I mentioned, we had another snow storm (not a blizzard, though…) at the end of last week. I’m actually getting quite used to these, although driving in them has yet to become fun. I can survive and not crash my car (knock on wood!), but navigating your car on a road of ice has yet to increase its appeal for me. But I digress. On Friday night, I got all bummed out and mopey after dinner. Enough about that! But on Saturday, I hung out with Jeff and Susan and Jeremy (Jeff’s roommate) and we went to dinner and hung out at Jeff’s place, playing Guitar Hero II. Good times. Before going to hang out with them though, I had come to the conclusion that I wanted to do a two-day trip up to a ski resort. Having the Colorado Ski Pass has quite a few perks, in addition to the obvious unlimited use of Breckenridge, Keystone, and A-Basin skilifts. Namely, you get some serious discounts on lodging. I finally decided to take advantage of this perk – so off to Breckenridge I went, as while I toyed with the idea of going to Keystone instead, I ruled that out because later this month is SnoFest, the huge military snow weekend up at Keystone. I found out I could get a room at the Great Divide Lodge on Sunday night, so I took it. I also used a pass on Monday, so I was set to not have to go to work then.

So on Sunday morning, I drove up the back way to Breckenridge, via Highway 24 and Highway 9. It had just snowed on Thursday and Friday, but I figured that the roads would be somewhat clear. Well, I was mostly right, all the way up to Fairplay, Colorado (which is what most people here think South Park is based on, btw). At that point (which is about 20 miles away from Breck), the conditions turned quite ridiculous. First off, the roads were covered in packed snow and ice, which makes a drive very interesting. But to make it more interesting, the wind picked up quite a bit, and kicked up all the snow, causing what the local news here calls “Ground Blizzards”. They ain’t kidding, folks. There were times when the kicked-up snow completely enveloped the car, reducing the visibility to nothing. I was not even sure I was staying straight on the road. Freaky. Then the road heads to Hoosier Pass, and it’s all uphill – fortunately that stressful drive went without a hitch, but it was a bit scary. Then you reach the pass and head down the other side, and it’s all switchbacks and slow-going. Anyways, I made it to Breckenridge, with quite a bit of adrenaline used but fortunately completely safe.

As for my skiing adventures, it was pretty fun – it was nice to be able to take it easy and not feel I need to rush it all into one day. The first day I had a few misadventures though – namely my skis got caught in weird angles at the top of the skilifts, with the first time being because a snowboarder’s board lodged on top of my skis – I got stuck with my skis making an obscene V with my legs – meanwhile I stopped moving forward, and sure enough, the lift chair I had just pushed off of came from behind and slammed me right in the back, knocking me flat onto my face. Ow. I’m still surprised I don’t have a giant bruise there. I got up, a little ego-bruised, but whatever, I didn’t get seriously hurt or killed, so yay for me! The next time that happened, I didn’t end up falling over or getting knocked over, but I ended up with my arm hooked around the lift chair bar and having it drag me a bit until I could get myself on proper footing. The rest of that first day though, I enjoyed skiing the Blue runs, and being pretty confident on them. I even skied a Blue-Black run, my closest run-in yet with a true Black Diamond run. I will ski one of those this season, perhaps this month. That night at the hotel was uneventful, except getting upgraded to a pretty large room because they had oversold and also locking myself out of my room, with no ID and no shoes on, after putting the room service tray outside. Lame. On Monday, I had another good day of skiing, although near the beginning of my day, I almost got killed by a snowboarder who was going super fast in the slow base zone – and she claimed I cut her off. Bitch. I didn’t get knocked down though – that would have been her. Heh heh. After that though, I seemed to forget how to ski, which was very annoying. I think I just got a little freaked out by the nearmiss, and after a few runs, I was good again. So with that long winded story over, finally, I wrap up my entry tonight with some pictures and some hopes for a decent snow storm that I will get home before. And if I don’t update before Sunday night, remember 24 is back on – and word is, the end of the first 4 hours has allegedly one of the most mind-blowing moments in 24 ever. I have resisted reading spoilers, but my mind is definitely racing trying to determine just what is so shocking. Can’t wait!

Pics from Breckenridge Overnighter, 7-8 Jan 07

The view from my hotel room at the Great Divide LodgeThe view from my hotel room at the Great Divide Lodge
The view from my hotel room at the Great Divide Lodge07-Jan-2007 15:33, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 7.1, 7.40625mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 50
A closer view of the MountainA closer view of the Mountain
A closer view of the Mountain07-Jan-2007 15:34, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 4.0, 15.4375mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 50
07-Jan-2007 15:34, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 4.9, 22.21875mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 50
 
looking at Village Roadlooking at Village Road
looking at Village Road07-Jan-2007 16:57, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 50
07-Jan-2007 16:57, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 50
The roomThe room
The room07-Jan-2007 16:58, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.167 sec, ISO 200
 
Looking off to the Rockies from one of Breck's many runs
Closer view of theLooking off to the Rockies from one of Breck's many runs Closer view of the
Looking off to the Rockies from one of Breck's many runs Closer view of the08-Jan-2007 09:47, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 7.1, 7.40625mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 50
08-Jan-2007 09:47, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 7.1, 7.40625mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 50
Closer view of the mountainsCloser view of the mountains
Closer view of the mountains08-Jan-2007 09:47, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 10.0, 15.4375mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 50
 
Looking back up one of the Breck runs
Looking back up one of the Breck runsLooking back up one of the Breck runs Looking back up one of the Breck runs
Looking back up one of the Breck runs Looking back up one of the Breck runs08-Jan-2007 09:48, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 9.0, 12.875mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 50
And there's bundled up me - it was COLD!And there's bundled up me - it was COLD!
And there's bundled up me - it was COLD!08-Jan-2007 09:48, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 7.1, 7.40625mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 50
A panoramic pic of Park County from the Nat'l Forest Visitor's Center - talk about a Winter Wonderland!A panoramic pic of Park County from the Nat'l Forest Visitor's Center - talk about a Winter Wonderland!
A panoramic pic of Park County from the Nat'l Forest Visitor's Center - talk about a Winter Wonderland!11-Nov-2013 22:03