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December 2003

Never travel with me

December 28, 2003: And I'm not kidding. After telling about my nightmare flight experience going to San Juan, I've discovered that I must have been cursed or something because driving to and from Los Angeles this Christmas was crazy insane-o stuff. Seriously. So first I head down to LA on Christmas Eve morning. I pick up some McD's breakfast and coffee around 8:30, then hop on the 15 South. Little traffic - all is well. Until I pass Stateline. As I'm heading up that mountain that is directly south of Stateline, traffic comes to a stop. Literally. We manage to crawl along for a little while, but then it stops completely. And there's no where to turn around and say 'screw this'. Nope - you're stuck here. And people are getting out of their cars, walking around, etc. Every now and then we have to turn our cars back on to travel 20 feet or so though. Near the middle of the 2nd hour doing this, my bladder declares it's ready to release, whether it be in the car or outside. Well, I love my car, so I realize I gotta go NOW. I'm in the left hand lane, and so I pull over on the left hand side and take a piss in the middle terrain of I-15. Yes, it's good to be a guy. I just knew I couldn't wait for the rest stop because I had no idea when traffic was going to start up again. Of course, traffic started up like 10 minutes later, but my bladder would have exploded 5 minutes before. As I drove by the rest stop, I saw humongous lines for the bathrooms. The rest of the drive was fine, but it made my trip 5.5 hours. NOT FUN. Then on the way back this past Friday night, I wanted to drive home. Well, I had to deal with typical Friday night traffic to Vegas, which I had forgotten about, but seriously the only bad part is 15 from the 210 to the merge with 215. After that, it's good. Until I got to Baker (Home of the World's Largest Thermometer). At this point, traffic didn't stop, but it went down to an average of 10 mph. And it stayed that speed for the next 20-25 miles or so. If you do the math, you can see that equals about 2-2.5 hours. Why did it do this? Because it was snowing in Nevada. More specifically, it was snowing on Halloran mountain, which lies between Baker and Stateline. Yes, another fun driving experience. I must admit, it was kinda cool, but after the 2nd hour of it, I was over it. So 6 hours after leaving the folks' place, I got home. Yes, it took me 11.5 hours of driving round trip what should normally have taken 7 hours total. Frustrating!!!

But it was all worth it, as I had a great time with all the family I saw, and I even got some deposits I can use to buy a big screen TV, which believe it or not, will be purchased very very soon. I am too weak to resist any longer, and I want a widescreen TV in the worst way. I'm just waiting till it goes on sale at Best Buy (it always is on sale like every other week), and then it's mine. I'll give details as I actually go and make the purchase!!

I hope everyone's holidays were good and were safe as well. I have to go back to work tomorrow, but it's only for a few days. Then it's New Years Eve! Michancy and her husband and some friends are coming out, so I said I'd hang out with them. I think we're going to be hanging out on the strip, which is fun, but it's going to be freakin' cold, and crowded, and I'd rather be indoors, but whatever. We'll see how everything plays out. So if I don't write before then, have a Happy New Year!
What's New? I put up my pictures from the Christmas visits with the family.

Back from doing really nothing at all

December 23, 2003: I have to admit, there's really no good reason for me not updating this site in a while. Usually I have my old standby excuses like, "I was on a whirlwind vacation to Java" or one of my favorites, "I was in Los Angeles again this weekend, having lunch with Bennifer", but seriously, nope, it was just a blech week which is FINALLY over. I guess that's obvious, since it's already the next week, but I have finally tore myself away from either my TV or my amazing new Computer. Have I said lately how much my new PC rocks? That thing can run any game you throw at it and handle it with aplomb. Seriously. Now someone tell me, what the hell does aplomb mean? I've been currently addicted to the Sims, which is frightening in its addictiveness. And I'm sure I've ranted about it earlier, like in March or something, but you get addicted to having your Sim do the most mandane of things, yet it's fascinating. And a half hour passes and really nothing happens. I'm currently reenacting my life on the Sims, and it's probably the reason why I haven't written on this site. My life is depressing!!!! Just kidding. I do wish there was a cheat code in life to have money magically appear in your bank account though. That would rule.

So this week at work was plenty yuck. We were doing inspections and then the days just went on and on, and I got in a serious blah funk on Wednesday and Thursday, and then Jenn left for Philly on Friday for a week and a half, and now I'm off this week because we have minimum manning, but I've got to work next week, which is alright. I think that last sentence qualifies as a run-on sentence.

Anyways, I've been addicted to my Buffy Season 5 DVDs as well. I rank it right up there with Season 2 of Buffy as possibly the best seasons of the show. I love the villainess Glory. She rocks. And the whole story arc with Buffy's mom was heartbreaking and surprising, as you would not expect a show like Buffy the Vampire Slayer to go and do these kinds of episodes. Now that I've pretty much caught up on all the Buffy I hadn't seen before, I enjoy Seasons 6 and 7 that much more. But it's also depressing to realize the damn show is over. Okay, not depressing, but it does suck.

And oh yeah, I saw a little arthouse movie twice this past week. You might have heard of it. It's called LORD OF THE FREAKING RINGS: RETURN OF THE MOFO KING! Now that I've seen it twice, I'm content to wait till I get the DVD. Why? Is it a bad movie? God no. But does it hurt my ass to sit in a theatre seat for 3.5 hours? Yes. Lots. Even stadium seating for that long of a period sucks. I never would have made it through the Trilogy Tuesday showings of all three movies in a row. Nope. So now that I've had a chance to see it once more, like I said, I'm content to now wait till DVD to see it again, or unless someone wants to go see it again and asks me to go. I've put my thoughts on it on my movie page.

So that brings me to the end of the update. Nothing much in the way of excitement happened, but hey, it was nice to chill. It's two days till Christmas, and tomorrow I head down to Los Angeles for the traditional Sperske Christmas Eve and then to have dinner with Uncle Richard on Christmas Day. I miss the old days of a big Barnes Christmas Day, but those were definitely old days, and were held together by Nanny & Grandpa. Yet I am glad to still have the chance to see some of the family at least. It reminds me of when I got to see a ton of the Barnes' at my Promotion Party. That was awesome!
What's New? Return of the King review in Movies, Unexciting pics from the Office Christmas party, and DVDs updated.

Survivor is over.... NOOOOO!!!

December 15, 2003: I always hate when a season of Survivor ends. It's like my soap opera fix or something... it's not supposed to end, dammit! ;-) It was definitely a fantastic season, and will be hard to top, yet with the All Star season coming up, I think it will get a run for its money. And there is going to be a Survivor 9, and applications are being taken until January I believe. I think this time, for reals, I'm going to send in a tape. Why not, right?

Well, this past weekend was my recovery weekend from all that blasted travelling. I had actually forgotten that my Mom and Harv were coming to town this weekend, so when I got a call from my Mom about having dinner, I was kinda like, What the Hell are you talking about? Oooops. I claim the Jet Lag excuse.

Anyways, we did end up eating at the Italian restaurant in Sam's Town, which is outstanding. After imposing a ban on the Mexican food place in there (yuck!), I was very pleasantly surprised to find how good the Italian restaurant was. But of course, wine always makes me a much less discriminating judge of taste, so I might have to go back there completely sober next time. :-) I ended up playing Blackjack there after dinner (surprise), and it was quite the roller coaster ride, more so than ever before. I started with $200 (I LOVE payday!) and after about half an hour, I was nearly wiped out. Sad, huh? Yet I was hovering at around $30 left, and sure enough, I started winning hands like it was going out of style, and before I knew it, I was back to around $170. Amazing! Yet did I stop? Of course not - what the hell else am I gonna do? So I proceeded to keep playing, and I proceeded to lose it all... AGAIN. I was literally on my last bet, and I put down my last $25 in a total loser's bet (I normally always do a $15 initial bet - but I was just like, let's end this damn thing so I can go home), and I won. And won again, and again, and again. I ended up fighting my way back, and I was actually up to $325. Seriously. I started losing again, and I bailed at the $265 mark. So I think it took me 4 hours to make $65. Now that is what I call working hard for the money.

And by the way, my new computer rocks. Everyone needs a computer that has two bright blue lights running down the front of the case. It's sweet.
What's New? My final Survivor 7: Pearl Islands page is up. I'll be leaving it up for a few weeks, but I'll be retiring it to the Hobie Site Archives afterwards, with the other Survivor pages I have from Thailand and the Amazon.

Cheaper is not always Better

December 12, 2003: So, I'm finally back from my vacation to Puerto Rico to visit my Dad and stepmom. It was definitely a good time, but the travel to get there was a nightmare. A NIGHTMARE. If you want to know about my NIGHTMARE, click here to go to the picture page where there is a full-on debrief of the trip. I must admit though - I was pretty happy to be back home and in my own house with no rocking floors and a bed that I know and love. I ended up missing the most recent episode of Survivor (from Thursday, December 11), so if any of you out there have it on tape, please send it to me! I'd be eternally grateful - well, perhaps not eternally, but once I return the favor. How's that? Anyways, I'm happy to be back, and expect a nice relaxing weekend full of sleep so I can get my body clock back to normal.
What's New? My combined Survivor Episode 12-13 page is up, and I'm ready for the Season Finale! OH YEAH! Bring on the Final 4! Also, I have put up my trip report to Puerto Rico here. Plus, I just bought some more DVDs. Stop me, someone, stop me!!!!

Be prepared for a weeklong hiatus, party-people!

December 2, 2003: Yes, I'll be unable to update my website as I'm not daring to take my laptop with me to Puerto Rico and a lot of water. With my luck, the laptop would be wanting to swim. Bah.

Well, I finally completed my PC project, and man does it freakin' rock. I have gone a little crazy and picked up a lot of computer games to take advantage of my new and improved power pc. It's cool. Best Buy loves me. You can read all about me making my computer at this page, which can be found as a link in my Hobie page.

So I brought in a lot of Hobie stuff to my office. I think it's fairly obvious now who sits where. I have the Hobie poster up there, a Hobie mug, and a Hobie bumper sticker up on the walls. Plus, my Phillipines Hobart Barnes wood name sign that my Dad got me a LONG time ago is on my desk. It's awesome. The Hobie shrine lives.

Oh, just as a heads up, I'll be missing Survivor both this week and next week. I won't be making a web page for this week's episode of Survivor, but I will be putting one up for the final episode on the following Friday. I'll have to be watching my tape, as my flight gets back to Las Vegas on Thursday night at 11:30pm. Ouch. I'm not checking email or phone messages when I get back, because I know there are some of you who love to ruin the end of Survivor for me (cough, Byron, cough).

Well, I'm sure I'll put up a nice closing message before I leave tomorrow night, but that picture is definitely staying up for the week I'm gone. I LOVE Contemplative-Hobie.
What's New? I put up my PC page, I've updated my DVDs (I bought Pirates of the Caribbean), Robbie's thoughts are now up on Survivor, and I've mildly tweaked the Hobie page. I think I'll actually start doing the Hobie-stories section finally, especially the credit thing. That could be a very informative tool for anyone who's curious about what can happen when identity theft occurs.

Shoot me an email if you want to. I may respond. (okay, you know I will - what else have I got to do?)