December 21, 2012 (T-173)

A book I’m reading (Apocalypse 2012 – no, it’s not a religious book – I found it in the Science section) says that this is the date of the end of the world. Plan accordingly.

But why dwell on such scary stuff right now? As I read more (and sleep less), I’ll fill you in.

Not too much to report on in the week since I’ve updated. This last week flew by (probably helped by the fact that I took Tuesday off to care for a hangover – Monday night is NOT the best time to go out, drink, and stay up late). This weekend was fun and it actually RAINED here – not snow. In fact, we’re due for near 70-degree temperatures this week. But of course in a few weeks, it could return to being snowy and cold. I hope so, as I’d love one more chance to ski this season. I never made it to Vail and I really would like to ski there.

Concerning the Europe trip, another modification has been made: no more Normandy. Apparently the guy that Jeff was going to re-enlist found out that he isn’t allowed to reenlist, without permission, off a base installation. And his commanders are not giving him permission. Lame! So now the trip is just Paris and London….so boring…..NOT!!!! Bring it on. I can’t wait to see those cities again! And that’s in just over two weeks. Sweeet.

I picked up a new camera for the upcoming trip – it’s on its way to me and believe you me, it’s a monster. Still a small form factor BUT 10MP yo.

And in movie news, I saw ‘300’ on Friday night in IMAX goodness. Unfreakinbelievable. And watching a movie in IMAX is so immersive and nearly overwhelming.

Alright, this daylight savings time nonsense has got me all whacked out. I went hiking this afternoon at the Garden of the Gods (reminding me that it’s about time to bring out the Colorado Hiking book I have and knock out some/most of these trails in preparation for hiking Pike’s Peak!) and woke up late this morning but I’m STILL tired.

Got Myself a Nintendo Wii (T-180)

It was one of those very rare right-place right-time things!

So there I was on Saturday afternoon – we (Susan, Jeff, Jeremy and I) had just finished going to Lowe’s to buy some paint and we were now at the fun part of the day: going to Best Buy to look around! I didn’t see any DVDs I wanted, so I headed to music – nothing there struck my fancy either! I was starting to get the panic sweats….what if there was NOTHING I wanted at Best Buy???? Preposterous. So I headed over to Video Games and saw that again, the Wii section had games and accessories, but no console. Kyle had scored a Wii this past week (lucky bastard), and while I was jealous, I also realized I could wait…unless opportunity struck. I then walked over to the home electronics section and I saw the under-the-counter kitchen DVD player I’ve been coveting for nearly 2 years – and while I saw that they had it in stock, I was about to pass on it until I saw that it was $50 off! A quick mental debate erupted and just as quickly ended as I grabbed the box and said, dammit, this bitch is mine. Happily walking over to the computer games section, I then saw the new RTS game “Supreme Commander” which has been getting uber-raves, so I picked that up too. I then walked over to the digital cameras – I am toying with the idea of replacing my 3-year-old digital camera with something a bit newer – and perused all the models they had in stock. I’m sort of interested in the Nikon Coolpix S4 (I think that’s the right name for it), but whatever – one of the Best Buy salesmen comes up to me and starts chatting me up about the Supreme Commander game I had. This led to a video game discussion, from PCs to Xbox 360s to Wiis (oh my!). I then casually mentioned that I’d love to get a Wii but had resigned myself to the fact that I’ll have to wait for a while until they become commonplace. The guy gets a gleam in his eye and he says to wait right there as he would go check around. I kill time waiting at the cameras, chatting with Jeremy, etc. About 10 minutes later, the guy strolls up to me with a brand-spanking new box o’ Wii. SWEET! I was totally a Best Buy junkie before, but this has utterly sealed the deal for me. And that guy is my total new best friend. Anyways, now that I’ve actually got one of these babies in my hot little hands, I have to go back to the Nintendo Wii section so I can pick up Zelda and any extra accessories that strike my fancy. I put the Wii box on top of my DVD player while standing over on that section, and literally like within 1 minute, a guy says ‘excuse me’ to me and reaches down to take my Wii – HOLD UP! I’m immediately like “Uh, that’s mine – you’ll have to get your own!” I let him know he should probably ask the salespeople for one, as apparently they have them in back. Amazingly, this word gets around the entire store – I kid you not. People come over to where we’re standing and look at me (or the Wii, can’t tell for sure) like a celebrity – one that they are enormously jealous of. So to boost up my ego some more, I start walking around the store completely holding the Wii box so it’s displayed for all to see. I got so many stares and glares – it was awesome! Finally I go to pay for it, and get the same reaction from the cashier (more of a surprised expression from her than a glare) and the security guy on the way out (“You got a Wii? Woah!”). I find out that basically that shipment had just come in (6 Wiis total) while we had been in the store and that before they could even put the Wiis on the shelf, 3 had been purchased (mine included). Like I said, lucky timing was the name of the game. And it was an opportunity I wasn’t going to pass up. Unfortunately, Nintendo has not produced nearly enough extra controllers/nunchuk combos (you get one set in the box) and so once you are lucky enough to get a Wii, the next real challenge lies in getting those. Apparently they’re likely to be in wider distribution starting in April!

So anyways, that was my exciting story from Saturday – after that, we all played the Wii Sports, which is freakin’ ridiculous fun. You can bowl (awesome!), play tennis (tiring!), box (stress-relieving!), play golf (somewhat interesting), and baseball (apparently I am too weak to hit a home run very consistently). Zelda was also fun to play. Also, you can pay for and download old legacy Nintendo games from the NES, Super Nintendo, and Nintendo 64. Awesome. And the fact that it’s motion-sensing and very accurate is incredible.

Then today I tried to be a little productive – I made my theater room/basement a bit bigger by pushing the couch further back, which truly makes that room spacier. After looking at the latest Home Electronics Ideas magazine, I have some good ideas for how to finish that room off. In some truly special-ed news though, I also installed my under-the-counter DVD player in the kitchen. You can see it in the picture below – I obviously got it installed fine and it works great. But the installation itself was hindered by a major obstacle: Me. You see, I bought a drill set so now I’m quite dangerous. And retarded. Because while I got the first hole drilled fairly easily, the drill bit was a little stuck in the cabinetry, so I reverse the drill’s direction to get the bit out easier. And FORGET TO CHANGE THE DRILL DIRECTION BACK TO ‘DRILL’. So I ‘drill’ two more holes in the cabinetry….which is now basically akin to me pushing really hard on a drill against a sheet of wood and trying to make a hole. It’s not easy…at all. But through sheer willpower, I make it happen… only to realize after finishing that third hole that for-the-love-of-God, I’m not actually using the drill function and am killing myself for the sheer fun of it. And of course, when I change the direction of the drill, that fourth hole is like a warm knife through butter. I truly am a stupid boy.

070304---1mod---Me-and-my-c

And the weekend is nearly over – and I return to work tomorrow. Funny news from last week – the deputy commander isn’t having his surgery after all (postponed till September) and will be returning in a week. So while I’m relieved (I am definitely not a suitable substitute for the amount of knowledge this man has), …. wait, there is no bad side to this. After last week, I can not wait to get the heck out of there. I don’t care where I go as long as I’m not there anymore. I’d love to write the rants I have in my mind, but I can’t quite do that just yet. Come back September – perhaps by that time I’ll still care enough to write about it (doubt it though).

OH Yeah, the Europe trip has also changed a little bit – we’ve removed Rome from the equation. Now it’s a London – Paris – Normandy – Paris – London trip, which I am totally cool with. Adding Rome to the mix was moving things much too fast – not enough time really to do anything without rushing through it. And really, and this is what I told Jeff as well, Italy is basically by itself an entire trip. Not only can you go to Rome, but you then visit Florence, Pisa, Venice, Milan, Naples and any other assorted locales. And that would be one hell of a trip by itself. So now can we take more time in Paris and London, and it will be AWESOME! One of the cool things that Rick Steves suggests to do in Paris is a Nighttime Taxi Ride through Paris’ excellent locations. We are TOTALLY doing this. Anyways, I just can’t wait to go!

Hope all is well in your neck of the woods!

Suck, Suckity, Suck Suck Suck (T-190)

I had one of those afternoons that kept on giving.

Yeah, definitely not one of those afternoons you wake up in the morning hoping to have. I had been at meetings all morning at Peterson AFB and came up to Cheyenne Mountain afterwards to work on a decoration package – something that wouldn’t take all that much time to get done and I’d be happy to have actually accomplished something today. Well, that plan went out the window. No sooner had I arrived back at work did I get sucked into a meeting with the deputy group cc for an hour (which was an impromptu follow-up to a meeting that lasted an hour just yesterday afternoon). Well, that meeting went fine (long, but fine) and I sit back down at my desk to work on the decoration. Then I get word that some of the info we were investigating didn’t get collected as needed. I made a call to find out what had happened – tell the person that we’ll redo the info gathering because it obviously wasn’t done right this morning – but about 10 minutes later, I get the deputy group cc in front of me wanting to speak to me immediately. We go behind closed doors and I get the first dressing-down I’ve had in a long time. So that was a barrel of laughs. Then it was just time to vent to those who were there as well about the ridiculous situation we all find ourselves in. To interrupt that pity party though, we get a call from another squadron saying that they are going to do the exact opposite of what we had asked them to do (in response to what our group wanted) – meaning that basically tomorrow, the ass pain will continue. You can’t have your pudding if you don’t eat your meat.

Seriously, what the fuck?

I think I’m going to dispense with my backwards storytelling endeavor from my previous entry. Basically, the first half of this past weekend was also fun. Drove up to Keystone with Kyle and Melissa and ran into some CRAZY white-out weather right at the Hoosier Pass and all throughout the rest of the drive to Keystone. Eek. But the ferocious wind and falling snow meant for some AWESOME snow conditions on the slopes…for the first half of the day. After lunch, we went back on the slopes and discovered that the wind had increased to ridiculous levels. At the top of the mountain, the wind was blowing so hard you were getting pelted with grains of snow – and it wasn’t letting up. So you just had to persevere and snow down the mountain, stopping every now and then when you literally couldn’t see the slope anymore. By the time I reached the bottom of the trail, Keystone had closed all but one of the skilifts up because the wind was so bad. And of course that one skilift that remained open was crazy packed. So we left a little earlier because there was no point in waiting in the ridiculous line to go back up the mountain and also because news was getting back to us that all the mountain passes were getting shut down – I-70 too. Fortunately Hoosier Pass, the way we came in to town, remained open, and we got home that night! Yay. Waiting for me at home were Jeff, Susan, KD, and Eric, who had decided to come over and cook dinner at my house and watch movies. Definitely sounded like a plan to me! So I got a home-cooked meal plus we all watched Moulin Rouge, which I definitely can watch again and again.

Saturday was a slow day – played video games and hung around the house doing nothing. That night I went over to Jeff’s and watched movies and TV – saw School For Scoundrels, which was pretty funny and entertaining. Also then watched the Sarah Silverman Show, which I think both Jeremy and I are now fans of. FREAKING HILARIOUS.

And that’s that for this past weekend. This week has been interesting transitioning into the role of deputy squadron cc. And when I say interesting, I mean ‘fuck-me’. And not in the good way. Lots of ridiculousness and I ended up cancelling my Transition Assistance seminar from March and moving it back to April, because I realized I just couldn’t leave in good conscience for half of March. I’m still leaving the last week of March though and the first week of April to Europe, because dammit, I care about myself above all others and I feel I deserve this trip. I can’t argue with this logic.

So here are some pictures from this weekend – the first set from when I got back from Keystone and the second set from the Denver-Dave&Buster’s-PartyatJeff’sHouse day. Enjoy. And hope that I maintain my sanity tomorrow(Friday). There’s the promise of a Brew Festival on Friday evening, which I plan on attending and whether there or at home, I plan on getting absolutely shitfaced, Saturday-hangover be damned.

After Keystone @ My House: Friday, 16 Feb 07

Eric the Guitar HeroEric the Guitar Hero
Eric the Guitar Hero16-Feb-2007 19:40, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 71
Jeff and SusanJeff and Susan
Jeff and Susan16-Feb-2007 19:41, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 50
KD cooking up a stormKD cooking up a storm
KD cooking up a storm16-Feb-2007 19:41, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 50
 
Eric, Jeff and SusanEric, Jeff and Susan
Eric, Jeff and Susan16-Feb-2007 19:42, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 104
Me and KD, keeping it realMe and KD, keeping it real
Me and KD, keeping it real16-Feb-2007 19:42, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 4.0, 15.4375mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 71
Eric, Me, KD and JeffEric, Me, KD and Jeff
Eric, Me, KD and Jeff16-Feb-2007 20:07, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 72
 
Getting the hand from SusanGetting the hand from Susan
Getting the hand from Susan16-Feb-2007 20:30, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 50
Lovely shot of me and KDLovely shot of me and KD
Lovely shot of me and KD16-Feb-2007 20:30, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 50
Eric's skepticalEric's skeptical
Eric's skeptical16-Feb-2007 20:31, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 50
 
Inappropriate fondling picture timeInappropriate fondling picture time
Inappropriate fondling picture time16-Feb-2007 20:31, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 50
 

Denver Fun Day: Sunday, 18 Feb 07

Trying to take a cool reflection picTrying to take a cool reflection pic
Trying to take a cool reflection pic18-Feb-2007 11:02, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 4.9, 22.21875mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 100
18-Feb-2007 11:02, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 4.9, 22.21875mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 50
Didn't really work outDidn't really work out
Didn't really work out18-Feb-2007 11:02, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 4.9, 22.21875mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 50
 
A sweet Lotus in the Dave & Buster's parking lotA sweet Lotus in the Dave & Buster's parking lot
A sweet Lotus in the Dave & Buster's parking lot18-Feb-2007 16:27, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 3.5, 10.8125mm, 0.01 sec, ISO 50
Racing, yo!Racing, yo!
Racing, yo!18-Feb-2007 16:44, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 109
18-Feb-2007 16:44, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 98
 
4th place at the time - ended up 2nd place by like .2 seconds!4th place at the time - ended up 2nd place by like .2 seconds!
4th place at the time - ended up 2nd place by like .2 seconds!18-Feb-2007 16:44, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
Dancing on a DDR-imposter!!!Dancing on a DDR-imposter!!!
Dancing on a DDR-imposter!!!18-Feb-2007 16:57, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
JeremyJeremy
Jeremy18-Feb-2007 18:03, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 50
 
SusanSusan
Susan18-Feb-2007 18:03, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 50
Jeff and his monkeyJeff and his monkey
Jeff and his monkey18-Feb-2007 18:03, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 50
ME!ME!
ME!18-Feb-2007 18:03, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 71
 
My favorite game at D&B's - the skeeball horse raceMy favorite game at D&B's - the skeeball horse race
My favorite game at D&B's - the skeeball horse race18-Feb-2007 18:05, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 127
Putting smiles on people's face, no matter what it takesPutting smiles on people's face, no matter what it takes
Putting smiles on people's face, no matter what it takes18-Feb-2007 18:10, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 50
Jeff, Melissa and JeremyJeff, Melissa and Jeremy
Jeff, Melissa and Jeremy18-Feb-2007 18:11, Canon Canon PowerShot S410, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 71
 

End of Another 4-day Weekend (T-193)

Damn, those weekends never seem to go by very slowly.

C’est la vie. Had a relatively eventful weekend though, which always makes it nice. To make it interesting, I’ll tell the story in reverse. I just finished watching 24, and I gotta say, Thank God that (former) President Logan is back on the show!!!!!!!! Now we’re talking! It looks like Mrs. Logan will be back too. SWEET. Also watched Marie Antoinette on DVD (a blind buy from Best Buy) – I think I liked it…. but honestly, while it was actually interesting to watch a take on Marie Antoinette that showed her as a girl way out of her element (and not just the monstrous “Let Them Eat Cake!” beyotch), nothing…seemed…to…actually…happen. And when the French Revolution occurred and things started to pick up…it ended. I don’t need to see guillotines and stuff, but maybe I do? Before I watched Marie Antoinette though, I caught up on Survivor, and realized, like a total moron, that I STILL forgot to TiVo the Amazing Race. DAMMIT! Survivor was great though, and it’s shaping up to be quite a season – especially if the Mavo team keeps losing and don’t improve their squalor. I also managed to get my car cleaned up and sweep out the garage of a lot of dirt and roadsalt that my car dumps on the floor once it dries out. All the snow we have had had led to my garage being filthy. Everytime I would drive into my garage, I’d cringe and go “Man, I really need to clean that out…” but of course I would have that thought right as I drive on top of it after a long boring day at work. And by that point, I was NOT going to go clean my garage. But it’s done, and looks great. All stuff I did after waking up on Jeff’s couch this morning from last night’s party at his house….

Yep, we had an impromptu party over at his house on Sunday night – it was a combined Dance Dance Revolution / Guitar Hero party – one room had the DDR set up and the other had Guitar Hero. It was freakin’ awesome. I of course had plenty to drink – but not too much, as I didn’t throw up or end up hungover. I know it helps to do a lot of DDR – not only is it an awesome workout, it sweats the alcohol right outta you. But good times nonetheless. We did this after driving home from Denver where we ended the Denver trip with a visit to Dave & Buster’s. It’s really hard not to have a good time at D&B’s, and this was no different. We played all the good stuff, including air hockey, the horse race skeeball game (my FAVORITE), 3D war games, all the gun games you could try, and a couple racing ones as well. Shuffleboard also, because shuffleboard is awesome. We didn’t eat there but we could have after exploring the Cherry Creek mall in Denver, which is WAY fancy. All the high-end stores are there, and it’s a blast to just look around in there. Anyways…

I’m really sleepy now – I have pictures to put up, but I’m not at the energy-level I need to be to put them up just yet. Tomorrow for sure. I’ll continue going backwards in time to recap what else I did, and perhaps I’ll have some energy to discuss other stuff too?

Tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day? (T-199)

Who knew? And frankly, who cares?

So today Jeff let it be known that he has reordered the European itinerary. I basically am along for the ride on this trip, as this will be my 3rd time or so going back and this is Jeff’s first time out to see Europe (besides Germany, which he saw this past holiday season). So he decided instead of spending most of the time in Great Britain, that we would start out in London, head to Paris afterwards (with a day or two in Normandy for the reenlistment), then down to Rome to finish it off. Now that’s taking on the premiere capitals of Europe. And I’m very stoked to be going back to all these amazing cities. Especially Rome – I made it there back in December 2001, but it was such a whirlwind Space-A trip that I’m definitely going to appreciate the re-visit. You know, I don’t think I ever posted my pictures from that trip I took with Wade back then. That was a last-minute adventure, to be sure. Flew Space-A from Lajes (Azores) to Naples NAS in Italy, then took a train up to Rome. Spent I think two nights in Rome, then made our way back to Naples and flew Space-A back. It was such a whirlwind trip, and last-minute, but I think that was part of what made it cool. Too bad Wade turned out to be such a freak. I’ll have to revisit the pics and put them up one day.

But anyways, still have about a month and a half to think about what to see and do. I’ve completely converted Jeff to the Rick Steves way of thinking when it comes to European traveling. You just can’t argue with the advice Rick Steves gives. Jeff picked up three of his books today, one for Paris, one for London and one for Rome. I picked up the latest version of the Rick Steves travel phrasebook (German, Italian, and French) because I have no idea where the other one went and I remember how indispensible it was during the Tambien trip. Can NOT wait to go on this trip.

So how snarky was I yesterday in this post? very. Even Michancy got a chuckle out of my irateness. She sent me a message basically stating she does the same thing when reading her old posts – get angry all over again about things that happened so long ago, that your mind has allowed you to erase. But then you realize that it wasn’t erased, it had just had a dropcloth put over it until you decide to rip it right off. I will confess that I have a ‘secret’ page that I haven’t published – and never will – that has basically all the ultimate truths in it. I don’t even like reading it but every now and then, I dip into it to see what twisted anger I have summoned onto electronic documents. It does feel good to just get out complete sincerity via any delivery method – I think the one I use is the safest for me – and keeps me out of trouble.

Alright, I am now three-for-three in nightly updates. If I keep this up, I may shock even myself!

TV Ramblings:
Veronica Mars
: Definitely not it’s finest season, but tonight’s episode was funny and interesting and all around great. I do hope this show returns for another season, but with it being on the CW, and not exactly getting stellar ratings, this third season is probably it’s last.
How I Met Your Mother: The ‘Lucky Penny’ episode from Monday was freakin’ hysterical. There were so many great moments – Marshall’s peptalks mixed with Vaseline; Barney unable to use his legs after his marathon (I can TOTALLY relate to that); Robin and Lilly’s dementia after an entire evening listening to the car alarm; and the surprising wedding future-flash at the end of the episode….who IS Ted going to marry?

Oh yeah, I don’t think I put some of my plans in that came up two weeks ago. I’m basically going to start seriously training for a triathlon sometime this summer. Not an Ironman one (that makes me cry just thinking of it), but one along the lines of Olympic or Sprint distance. It should get me in great shape, help me lose some pounds, and overall notch another accomplishment in the book of How Hobie Rulez!

One last thing: Definitely take a gander over at my good friend Al’s redesigned website – he’s made it quite professional and it seems he’s poised to make his photography hobby potentially a career. He’s very good at it, as you’ll see at his site. Much mad props to Alan and what I predict will be a promising future career (as he’s exiting the AF too this September!).

Another hobiebarnes.com beckons you…