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January 2006

Back Safe, but broke, from Vegas

January 31, 2006: I had a swell time in Vegas this past weekend. It was great to see the folks, to see the friends, and to get to gamble again. Unfortunately, lady luck didn't come and visit this time, except for a few occasions - the first was the first time gambling out at the Bellagio with Fox and Jenn. Jen had an amazing roll on her third go-round, and oh damn was it a good roll. I made $650, rescuing me from the brink as I had absolutely nothing in my chip rack at the beginning of her roll. Second time was playing craps with Fox at O'Sheas, at which the table just couldn't stop rolling good. But other than that, I must have found the coldest possible tables I could find. Oh well. I'll tell more about the trip tomorrow, though. I'm just a little tired and figure I should get some rest before heading to work tomorrow. But I wanted to update my site with a picture that I drew this morning at my work's "Offsite" today, in which all the squadron leadership went to Ft Carson and spent an entire day working on high-level stuff. Now, those of you who know me know that I like to doodle if I'm bored. This was not a case of hobieboredom. This was our 'icebreaker' in which we let people know about our career in the Air Force and a way to let people know a little bit more about each other - since I was the newest, I guess I was the most mysterious, but that isn't really saying a lot. Anyways, the front picture was my drawing - from Start to Finish. Yes, even though I had sorta convinced myself that I could stay in for 20 years, I was just fooling myself. Colorado is the end of my military career. It's time to see how I can do in the 'real' world. But of course, I still have to wait until 2007, but I can do that. In the meantime, I'll just get more experience and get ready for a civilian career. I wonder if I'll stay in Colorado? I do like my house...

Pics from Vegas and other Random pics from the month
- late Jan 2006

A self-shot of me!

The gang at the Paris Cafe

With me too!

Me and my Bellagio $500 chip

Fox, Jen and Me

Fox and Jen

Harv, Mom and me

View of the strip at night

Bellagio's Chinese lanterns

Some crazy reflections

Me, drunk

Crazy Chinese New Year fun at the Paris

Some more pics of it

My AF Career




Never Getting My Car Back

January 23, 2006: Or so it seems. The part that was supposed to get overnighted to the service station hasn't shown up the last few days. Guess that the meaning of 'overnight' to some people just isn't the same as how I interpret overnight. So I'm still in my Chevy Malibu. And the more I have that car, the more I realize I LOVE MY JETTA! That car absolutely rocks, and it's a perfect fit for me. I'm really glad that I didn't end up selling it a year or so back. It's just annoying that I can't get my car back. Is that too much to ask!!????? Oh, and thanks to Terese for sending me an explanation on what an ignition coil. I'm still not really sure how that made my car so sick, but as long as I get her back well, then I'm good.

Today was that interview day that I mentioned earlier. It went well, I think. I did a good job, I think, in terms of being nice Captain Barnes. But there was definitely one interviewee who stood out head and shoulders above the rest. I can't imagine how we'd get overruled on our assessment, but based on current politics in the organization, it's very possible. I hate that. This guy is soooooo damn qualified for the job too. Guess we'll see. It was an interesting day in terms of someone basically laying out to me why they feel like they're useless at work. I won't get into it further, but if this person wants to feel useful, believe you me, they're not going to have to worry about that anymore. I have plenty of projects to pass on. And this person is more than capable, so I'm not nervous about giving them more to do. You ask and you SHALL receive.

Thought I had another reason to write today, but I think I am done. I'm feeling a lot better so far this week than last week. So much better. Last week was busy busy busy. This one is too, but there's some fun stuff in store (Flight call, Las Vegas) that makes the flight commandership fun. Well, have a good evening!

P.S. I am probably going to put the guestbook up on a trial basis for a few days to see if the scripter is still pinging my guestbook. If so, then I'll have to rename everything again, but I miss having that outlet/inlet to get feedback. I thought I didn't need the feedback...I was wrong! I need validation!!! Validate me, validate me!!!

Killing Zombies is good for the soul

January 22, 2006: I won't deny I've been in a blech mood. I've been tired, overworked, stressed, and overwhelmed. Don't know if that's gonna go away any time soon (doubt it), but I just gotta keep remembering to look forward, keep stepping, and get shit done. In the meantime, I may get grouchy and bitchy and pissy and depressed - oh well. That's what happens in the maelstrom known as my inner mind. If only you all knew the things that ran thru my mind sometimes. It scares even me. Okay, that last part sounds insane. I'm not insane. But I admit to not having every single thought that goes through my head on this website. It's safer that way!

Anyways, I finished the game Resident Evil 4 yesterday. In this, you kill lots of zombies and monsters. That's fun. Made me feel better. But then I watched some Netflix movies I received. Ugh. Okay, first up was Punch-Drunk Love with Adam Sandler. It's a Paul Thomas Anderson movie, the same guy who made Boogie Nights (loved that movie) and Magnolia (odd movie, but engaging nonetheless). Well, I'd heard that this was another good one, and heard raves about Adam Sandler's performance in it. Never saw it in the theaters though - hence, Netflix. Anyways, I watch it last night. Oh my God. This movie was horrendous. Usually there's at least one aspect of a film that you like, a character you can empathize with, a particularly funny scene.... ummm, not in this movie. First off, there's not one damn character I could even begin to sympathize with. Adam Sandler's character is just.... sad? annoying? insane? The rest of the players are no better. Then the 'artsy' direction style was just annoying, but to top it off, the aspect that can usually save a movie, the soundtrack, was CONSTANT. I mean, there was never a moment of silence in this movie. And the music just kept playing, not at all in tune with the scene, sometimes loud, sometimes quiet, but ALWAYS there. ALWAYS. And each situation the characters got involved in was worse than the last, and everyone was crazy. So by all means, go out and see it for yourself. Prove me wrong. Maybe I was just in a bad mood. But that was 90 minutes I'll NEVER get back. EVER.

The second movie was Dr. Strangelove, the old movie from Stanley Kubrick about nuclear armageddon. I had actually never seen this movie before. Go figure. It is pretty entertaining, although the funniest part may be that there was a disclaimer at the beginning stating that the U.S. Air Force confirms that a situation like the one in the movie could NEVER happen because of the safeguards in place. That's pretty funny. At least this movie was funny, and was a great commentary on the prevailing mood of the era then, with everybody afraid of the bomb. Even though the movie was over-the-top, you could see elements of it that ring true even now, with the paranoia in place. It was funny to compare some of the scenes in the movie to more recent movies, like Crimson Tide with the whole 'was it a real nuclear order' aspect to just the many ways that people in positions of power are made to seem woefully insane or woefully incompetent. I know I HOPE that this is a fictitious perception of our leadership, but sometimes, you just never know. Some people have possibly far too much power for their own good. Not to mention our own good.

Today I actually cleaned my house - having wood laminate floors means there's plenty of sweeping and floor cleaning to do, but it's actually very satisfying, because all those rogue footprints and marks magically go away when everything is clean. Housework can be therapeutic, I believe it's been said. I must agree. I don't actually like the initiation of said housework, but if I trick myself in to starting it, I find I can't stop until I've done a significant amount of it. Hence, I even vacuumed today. Unfortunately, my motivation ran out before cleaning the toilets. Mayhap I'll have to do that tomorrow.

This week will be an abbreviated one for me. I work Monday, then have some training to attend on Tuesday and Wednesday. Actually on Monday, I have to interview some civilian candidates for one of our open GS positions in the flight. This should be interesting. Never actually interviewed someone before. I'm trying to figure out if I want to be good cop or bad cop. Or maybe INSANE cop. I'll let you know how it goes. On Thursday is my first flight call - that should be fun. It's a potluck affair, and at it I'll have the chance to present a monthly performance award to one of the flight members as well as pass on anything particularly relevant to the flight. I'm kinda nervous about it, but since it's a monthly thing, I'm sure that nervousness will go away with time. It had better! Then on Friday, I fly to VEGAS!

Yep, back to Vegas for a fun-filled weekend. Now I can be like everyone else who doesn't live there and thinks of Vegas as a vacation destination and not a hellhole to live in! Yay! I'm actually excited about going there. It'll be great to see my friends and I'll also get to see my Mom and Harv for the first time since Thanksgiving. Plus, I get to play CRAPS again! Speaking of that, that's what I was wanting to do today - set up my practice tables and get a little bit of betting strategy practice in. I've kinda forgotten what I used to do - but I'm sure it'll come back to me. That's right, it's the C&E on the come-out, as well as a pass line bet. Then when the point is established, back up with odds and wait till a 5th roll before placing some more #s, typically the 6, 8 or a 5 or 9 if the 6 or 8 is the point. If I lost you on this last part - well, you don't play craps then. You're missing out!

Alright, I'm feeling better. I think Denver lost the AFC game - I turned on the HD feed in the middle of the 4th quarter as the score was 34 - 17 with the Steelers in the lead. Don't think there was a chance in hell that Denver could come back at this point, and it even seemed that Denver knew it with the way they were playing. But who knows? I turned the damn thing off when it proved uninteresting (contrast to the USC - Texas Rose Bowl game - now if all football was like that game, I would definitely watch sports more often). I do love having a bajillion satellite channels - there's so much to pick from, including home improvement stuff, which I enjoy a whole lot more now that I have a house to take care of. The previous owners here got some catalogs to Lowe's and JcPenneys and they've been sending out there interior design/furnishings catalogs. I saw one bathroom scheme that I really like. May have a new project lined up, because I've been hesitant to start a new area.

And I have now officially rambled. Remember that Survivor starts in a week and a half - sweet!

Got my damn stamps, and other stuff

January 20, 2006: So remember when I ranted about that one Saturday that really just never was good? One part of that story was when the damn postal stamp machine ate my money and then forgot I had money in it. When I called the # to call, it was just a recording and I left a message. I thought I had just been duped because nothing had happened, but sure enough, I got a letter in the mail from the Post Office with $6 worth of 37 cent stamps and a ton of 2 cent and one 1 cent stamps. Go figure, that actually worked calling the number.

It snowed a lot yesterday. We got a two-hour delay this morning. That was nice - I slept in.

I thought I had more stuff to write about - guess I don't.

Poor, Poor Catherine

January 18, 2006: I'm sure you're dying to know what I'm talking about. Well, I was driving to work this morning, thinking of the things I had to do, and realizing, "man, this is really gonna be a long assignment..". I'm at the light, waiting for it to turn green, when my car kinda 'hiccups'. That's....strange. The light turns and I continue driving. At the next stoplight, my car hiccups twice or so. Uh, what the fuck is this? The light changes again, and now I realize that I think I'm fucked. So at the next light, the engine light comes on in the dashboard. I put my car in neutral while waiting for the light to turn. I put it back in drive when it's time to go and the engine light comes back on and as I'm driving now, the hiccuping is going crazy. I pull off the road over to the side.

Needless to say, I got my car towed to the VW dealership and they finally determined late in the afternoon it was the ignition coil. I don't know what that is, but they didn't have any and had to order it. So I'm driving a rental Chevy Malibu. I don't like not having my car. It sucks.

As for the General I was supposed to escort this past few days, well, that didn't happen. He canceled on us on Sunday afternoon. Thanks for the notice, buddy. But honestly, I found that out when I went over to watch 24 from my deputy, and that allowed me to relax on Monday, as I was definitely building up the stress level thinking about what was going to be happening. The banquet went well even without him though, and it's over, which is really the key here. Yay.

I'm tired, so I'm definitely not in a vivid happy writing mode. My eyes have been drowsy all damn week, and I've been getting decent sleep, or so I thought. Last night I had some strange dreams - first was that I was back working part time at the bookstore, and so was TSgt Marian. Very bizarre, but fun. I'll have to send her an email to see how she's doing working at Camp David. Next up on the dream schedule, I vividly saw a tidal wave of water coming over the Rockies towards Colorado Springs. Amazingly by the time it got to where I was, it wasn't a massive wall of water that could overtake the Rockies. Amazing. And then I woke up to crazy wind beating and shaking my house. I guess I should have known my car was going to break down with those signs in front of me.

And in a final blech note, I'm just tired. I have the energy to make it look like I'm happy and into stuff, but seriously, I just don't care. Yet I do. I don't know. I'm just in one of those moods, I guess. And now that I have no guestbook (thanks fucking spammers), I can just write and write and not worry what others will think. There's no way I can know!

"It's a Wonderful Night, c'mon break it on down.."

January 15, 2006: Just was listening to that song by Fatboy Slim while downloading my pictures. It's a pretty cool song and I first heard it on DDR Extreme 2, the latest incarnation of my treasured DDR video game franchise. Anyways, it's a good song - upbeat and extremely hard to dance to on Standard level. This one kicks my ass. Good workout. But anyways, I'm sure you didn't come here to read about my unimportant and boring thoughts...oh wait, YES you did. Sit a while then. Actually, I take that back. I've said that before and you get like 10 paragraphs of rambling. I don't intend to do that today. But I will catch up on the last couple of days. I'm in the midst of a three-day weekend and trying to relax. Try, you ask? Why is relaxing so hard, you ask? Well, when you have to be a General's chauffeur for a 48-hour period, it tends to stress you out. At least for me. But I jump ahead - or do I?

Whatever, here goes. Back in my first week of work here at Cheyenne Mountain, I happened to stick around for a meeting that in hindsight, I should have not been in. Because during that meeting, I got assigned the role of making sure the guest speaker for our awards luncheon, a Brigadier General, was taken care of. So I got to arrange with his secretary, exec, protocol, etc to make sure his visit went well. Thing is, when I made contact with them like a MONTH ago, I kept getting ignored. Emails and phone calls were never returned, and finally, at the middle of the first week of January, they come back and tell me that they think that he won't show up at all. Chaos and confusion erupt, and 5 days later, the beginning of last week, I find out I now have less than a week to get this visit back on track. When I had been for a month trying to get this all figured out..and now I have to panic and rush, just like I had tried to avoid by being ahead of the game. But whatever. I move on, and get things done. Find out the General wants to stay at the Academy and go visit all these places out here while he's here, which now means I'm not just driving him to the luncheon, I'm driving him ALL AROUND THE FUCKING TOWN. Did I mention I really don't know this city that well? And that I don't know the US Air Force Academy layout either? So, this past Saturday, I decide to correct that situation. I went and drove around the Academy to get my bearings - and I'm glad I did. There's one place that I finally found after stopping at the visitor center, who had to call the base operator and security forces, and which I finally got a semblance of an answer. I drove there and was skeptical, but amazingly, there was a little portable building that you'd never notice unless you were looking for it. So I'm ready. I hope. During my drive around though, I decided to walk around the area a little, because it is kind of cool to see where so many of these Academy folks came from. The last time I was here was 10 YEARS AGO! It was 1996 and I was there with the UCLA AFROTC Rifle drill team for the National Invitational Drill Meet. It's a pretty vivid memory for a few reasons. One, I flew out there completely hung over because a few of us decided to drink and party the night before our flight. Dumb move. Flying hungover is not pleasant. Two, I was completely nervous about this. Here we were tossing rifles around like it's no big thing and now we're going to be watched and judged by drill teams from around the country. Plus this is on the Academy turf, and if you don't know, Academy and ROTC cadets typically have disdain for each other. Academy cadets think they're all that, and ROTC knows that the Academy is wrong. But I digress. But we were put up at the Academy, and now having walked around a bit this weekend, I remember somewhat more of that drill team experience. The practices, the fun, meeting Academy cadets and not hating them with a passion, and overall just having a good time (plus we earned 3rd place in regulation drill, which is not too shabby). But here's pictures below from my walk yesterday. I'm going to have to dig out my actual photos from 1996 and scan them in for putting up here.

US Air Force Academy - Jan 15, 2006

The USAFA Chapel

Me and the chapel

Closer up

The Cadet Palazzo area (restricted access)

The Chapel front

Inside the spaceship, er, the chapel

Spaceship Chapel seats

The humongous Chapel Organ

After my tour, I went and spent plenty of money, almost adopted a dog - PetSmart was having an adoption out in front of their store and I fell in love with nearly every dog I saw out there. How can I be forced to choose just one? So I chose none. I'm afraid to make that leap I guess. Then watched Final Destination 2 (bought the DVD so I could see the full-on gore - edited for TV version definitely left quite a bit out, I must say) and I can not wait for Final Destination 3 in theaters. I probably shouldn't see it, but the death scenario in this one takes place on a rollercoaster, and my morbidness wants to see it. Every time I go on a rollercoaster, there's always that thought of what if? Now that a movie has taken it to that level, gotta see it. Also watched the Jazz Singer with Neil Diamond after picking up Outback to go. That is a great movie, well, maybe not great, but it has so many memories from my childhood - my Mom watched that movie ALL THE TIME. The songs are undeniably catchy though. Finally played Civ4 for about a bajillion hours last night - I may be hooked. And then today I crawled out of bed, took care of my most unfavorite chore (grocery shopping), then watched lots of Law & Order: SVU (LOVE THAT SHOW), and now I'm getting ready to go over to my deputy's house and watch the season premiere of 24! They've promised an amazing first 10 minutes - that means someone (or lots of someones) is gonna die. Crossing my fingers it's none of my favorite characters.

As for last week at work - ugh. What a drainer. Lots of meetings, lots of personnel stuff, lots of staying late. On Thursday, I had a primo day, and by primo, I mean horrendous. It actually started out decently, but things went downhill fast after I hung up the phone right before lunch and my nose starts bleeding. Everybody tells me it's the altitude, but that still freaked me out. Then I go to lunch, completely forgetting I had a MEETING TO GO TO. WTF, dude? I just counseled someone on this shit. I felt like such a piece of shit. When I realized this, it was when I was forced to choose: Do I go to the meeting and accept the smirks and egg on the face, or just not go and hope no one noticed? Well, I think it's kinda bullshit if people can't take the bad along with the good, so I went to the meeting late. It was better that way. Yeah, Thursday sucked.

Okay, so you got 4 paragraphs or so from me this time. Lucky you!

Long Day - so tired.

January 11, 2006: Seriously, this has been only a month of being a flight commander, and I'm exhausted by the job. It's so damn much. So many taskers, so many personnel issues, so many glad-hand things (meet&greets, welcome homes, etc), so much undone at work during the day that I have to stay late afterwards just to make headway.... yeah, I thought I knew what I was getting myself into. And a big part of me is actually thriving off of this, but the part of me, right now, that is at home late after a long day and is kinda burnt out, is going WTF? Fortunately I've got an awesome deputy, whose promotion ceremony to 1st Lt went awesome by the way, and we get each other through this. I'm hoping for things to sorta calm down once we get past the newness of the year, but who knows. Speaking of 1st Lt Promotion Ceremonies, he's so lucky. I tried to convey to him what mine was like, and I think that's what he wanted, but seriously, mine sucked. My boss at the time totally didn't tell me I needed to have this, and come the day of, the squadron commander comes down and says when's the ceremony? Apparently his office had let him know I'm promoted that day. So I basically go down to the conference room, an email is sent out, and I get promoted at the end of the table. No refreshments, nada. Maybe that's all it needs to be, but these are important timelines in your progression of your career, and why not celebrate them? That's one thing that my current Sq CC is big on, and I admire her for that. It definitely makes a difference to those who are being honored. Enough of that now.

Well, I think I am done now. I was going to type some more. But honestly, don't really want to. I'd just bitch and moan probably, and I'm probably going to regret it in the morning. :-) Anyways, 1 month down, 35 to go? <sigh>

Survivor 12 Cast Revealed, You Say?

January 9, 2006: And an immediate twist revealed: 4 (FOUR!) Teams to start with: Older Men Team, Older Women Team, Young Men Team, Young Women Team. My guess: Younger women team get decimated because they catfight like little hyenas and then rip each others clothes off. I'm just sayin'. Anyways, click here for the official CBS website - the premiere is about a month away. SWEET.

Today was a whirlwind day for me at work. Well, this morning wasn't exactly exciting, because I spent it at Peterson AFB attending meetings I really didn't need to be part of. Which made the afternoon so horrendous because there was stuff that I needed to address and I had all of about 2 hours to do so. There was a major personnel issue that needed handling, and it wasn't a fun one either. Got that taken care of though, but I'm sure I'm not very popular though. Talked to everyone involved though, explained my rationale, and well, we'll have to go with that. Plus, there is a promotion ceremony for my deputy tomorrow which I'd let slide and slide until I couldn't. Procrastination is bad, children!!!!! Then there were a bajillion emails to respond and read, and well, it was just a busy day. I'm glad to be home, but tomorrow I anticipate being just as if not more busy. Cross your fingers I don't fuck everything up. C'mon, please!????

Civilian Jenny emailed me and Linus yesterday, and I post some of it here because it is really damn funny. Sorry Shmofield, now that I'm in a posting frenzy, I'll post just about anything that makes me laugh!

So check this out - I had a dream the other night that I was back at Nellis and the three of us were in some huge dark building being chased by someone. I don't know who was chasing us or why, all I know is that they wanted to kill us and we were all scared. Have you seen the commercials for that new disgusting movie "Hostel"? Picture that kind of dark, dreary building and that kind of terror.

So we're running about this dark building, trying to be quiet and hide so they can't find us. We're in a dark office, hiding behind a desk and one of the bad guys is right outside in the hall, searching for us. Hobie whispers "We have to be quiet or they'll find us." and right at that moment, Schofield kicks over a chair, making a racket, and practically shouts "Whoops!". The bad guys come running for us, then I woke up.

You would think, it being a scary-type dream that I would have had some kind of after effect - like I would be lying there still feeling the same fear that I had in the dream. But no, I was cracking the fuck up, because Schofield got us caught.

Moral of this story is that when you're being chased by bad guys that want to kill you, don't let Schofield in your group because he will most definitely get your ass caught.

And I now say farewell. Looks like I'll be headed to Vegas the last week of January after all - can't wait!!!!!!

Show me the Hobie!

January 8, 2006: Real quick, you gotta click here for the sloganize website. Put in your name and see how marketers would sell you to the world. As can be seen by the headline, that's my oh-so-original marketing gimmick. <yawn> Well, this last week is over. It was definitely one that provided me with some flight commander challenges, including having to try to keep people calm and making sure that I remained fair and objective. It's difficult to do that when you have to balance military loyalties along with the civilian responsibilities. Since my flight has both, in equal #s, it's a tough job to do, especially when those two worlds meet and the parties aren't really fond of each other. But I am doing the best I can, and I think I am doing it in the most fair manner possible. I think that this is going to be a long three years....

But anyways, yesterday I decided to go out and get some stuff done. I ended up having one of the most aggravating mornings ever. It seemed that wherever or whatever I was doing, if there was a way to piss me off or annoy me, it happened. So I go to Peterson AFB first to pick up some new boots (finally) and the AF PT gear (since we apparently have to wear it here..). But I stop at the base post office first to get some new-price stamps. I get in line at the counter (where all one person works) and the guy at the front of the line has seemingly billions (maybe just ten, but still) envelopes he needs individually metered and stamped, and he hasn't got all the addresses on them just yet. Following him are old people, and God knows how long they're going to take. So I peek around the corner and see that stamp vending machine. I leave line and see that it's selling the new stamps. I have a $5 bill and a couple of $1 bills too so I'm good for the $7.80 necessary for a book. HA! I'll fool that line. Well, the $5 bill goes in after a few tries. So does my first $1 bill. But the second one refuses to cooperate with the machine. I try every alignment possible. And then the fucking machine eats my dollar and refuses to work after that. I can't get my money back and I'm stuck with $6 in a machine that doesn't sell anyting useful for that amount, unless I'm up for stamping my envelopes with about 39 1 cent stamps. So I think about it, and realize I could probably still put some quarters in there to get around the bill thing. I run out to my car, where I have plenty of change, and get back inside to discover that the vending machine has forgotten that there was $6 of credit in it, or someone used up my credits. MOTHERFUCKER!!!!! There's a phone # to call if there's problems (1-800-FUC-KOFF) and I call it to find out it's a voicemail. I leave my message, get back in LINE, and have to wait for one of the old people who was in front of me to dick around with buying a roll, no wait, a book, no, a half-roll, no a book, no a roll.... of stamps, then 50, no 25, no 50, maybe 75... 2 cent stamps. Literally, I wanted to punch the wall at this point, and my story is not even done. So I get my stamps finally, and then I walk over to clothing sales. It's Saturday morning, and I'm assuming it wouldn't be that crowded. Especially for buying boots. But of course, I'd be wrong - at least half-wrong. It figures that there would be people there, but they're all by the boots. FUCK. I probably wouldn't have been annoyed by this if the post office debacle hadn't just occurred. But I persist, and I get my boots, my PT clothes (what a ripoff BTW...) and head out, figuring it's time to get some fun time in. I'm hungry by now (being pissy is an appetite-builder apparently), so I drive up Powers to head back up to McDs. I get up there and discover there's no parking at all near the restaurant. great. So I drive around a little, and park near the dry cleaners, which is good because I have BDUs to drop off. I drop those off, and then walk to McDs. I could have walked there blindfolded though, because the ear-piercing sound of little demons, I mean children, guided me the entire way there. I opened the door and could not believe the shriekiness inside. Ugh. So I get in line, behind old people, again, who apparently have never been to a fast food restaurant, as they would like a rundown of the soft drinks being offered. Are you effin' kidding me? And of course the clerk is a new guy, so he has to look at the menu if you order by #. Wonderful. I get my meal, sit as far from the noise as possible, then head out. I see that Walgreen's is right there, and I know in Vegas you could buy booze at a drug store, because by this time, Hobie needs a drink. Yes, it's only 12 or so, but it's been one of those days. But this isn't Vegas anymore. And at Walgreen's, all they have is soda. FUCK. So, I head out to stop by Best Buy, because dammit, that'll get me in a good mood. Or so you'd think. I head in, and just decide to look around the DVDs. And of course, as I'm perusing, someone has to decide to peruse right next to me. And not move on. I figure if I go slow, they'll pass me up. I figured wrong. I move, they move. I actually did escape this trap a couple times just to have someone else do it. Seriously, I was about to throw down because of the mood I was in. But anyways, I look around, find some stuff, and I head slowly to the cashier. As does literally 4 other groups of people. I hate this. It's like, how could I have timed it any better? And of course, the group in the lead, is OLD PEOPLE. I literally turn around and walk back in the store, just so I don't have to be around this. A few minutes later, I get back in line. My cashier calls me over, and I hand over my goods (sts). She rings me up, and I give her my Reward Zone card. It won't scan (it's been used quite a bit, so it's a little faded), and last time they just typed in the bottom number on the card. I tell her this. She doesn't believe me. She wants to know the phone #. I give her my current #, but that doesn't work. For some reason, I can't remember my Vegas home #, and I just ask her to try typing in the reward zone card #. She gives in, and tosses me back my card. Oh really? Bitch, you don't want to do this to me. She tells me the standard 'you have a free 8 weeks of Time, EW, or Sports Illustrated - which will you take?' I politely say no thanks - and she looks at me and says "You'll buy PC Magazine, but you don't want Time magazine?" all snotty like. Seriously, I am about to cause some damage. I just look at her and say, no thanks. I give her my ID and credit card, and again, she tosses them back to me on the counter. BITCH. I am going to hurt you. Of course I'm not going to in reality, but OMG, have a little customer courtesy. I wish I had said something, but honestly, it probably was better due to how freakin' annoyed I was by everything that morning. I finally leave, stop by a liquor store, pick up some Shiner Bock (Yay for that discovery - that was the beginning of a good rest-of-the-day), and head home.

Whew. You know, I almost got annoyed again writing that last part. Taken individually, those events wouldn't have been that bad. But all together in a few hour timespan, NO THANKS! But like I said, I got home, and things got better. I sat outside, shined my new boots, listened to my new Johnny Cash CD (awesome, btw), then went inside, hung up a lot of my pictures and got my living room actually livable and comfy-like, then made spaghetti, watched Wedding Crashers, and ended the day finally. And now it's today, and I am gearing up for another busy week. I hope to make it out to Vegas this month, but after talking to the folks, that may be delayed a few weeks. So we'll see. Oh, here are some pics of my nook area. Notice the bar table and stools I bought along with all the pictures hung up. Cool, eh? And to Michancy, I know you love my dining room colors. :-)

My Nook and Living Room - Jan 8, 2006

Angled view of the nook side wall

Peering over into the living room

The living room area

Looking back to the kitchen

Glimpse of the media room and ALL THE DVDs

My picture wall


What, are you gonna sue me?

January 3, 2006: Happy New Year! Hobiebarnes.com returns for the year 2006, and I think that you will have a happier website to visit than before. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. But even with the dramas that are present in my new flight, they're ones that I think I can help fix for the better. But I'm not above doing the work to make things get fixed and hurt some people along the way. Bwahahahahahaha! Today was the first day of 'real' work because seriously, these last two weeks were pretty slow. I went to work both weeks, yuck, but I don't have much leave, and it just worked out easiest to stay here for the most part. But damn, it was slow. You'd think I could have caught up on stuff, but when everybody you need to talk to isn't there, you kinda get stuck. So that was the last two weeks. Christmas was a little blah, but I ended up just chilling in my media room, playing Resident Evil 4 nonstop, watching DVDs, and basically going all catatonic on your ass. Speaking of which, I need to order a pizza from Papa Johns now, because i'm hungry and too lazy to microwave something healthy. So hold on as I do that....

Whew, so now I have pizza on the way. So hopefully everybody else's holidays were good. My New Years was a lot more fun than I expected it to be, as I suddenly decided to take Byron up on his offer to go to his New Year's Party in San Antonio, Texas. After the blech fest of Christmas alone, I thought that this would be nice to do. So I got my tickets pretty cheap, surprisingly, and this past weekend, I flew down there. On the way, I updated to first class on one leg (sweet....), and met a lady whose brother is a defense contractor and who just may be my next boss in a few years... but I won't go into that too much because it's such a dream right now, it doesn't seem quite real just yet. And who knows if I'll be bitter by then towards the AF? Honestly, as Lilo would indicate on a bitterness silhouette of me, my bitterness level is definitely dropping. So we've got that going for us. And yes, I did just refer to myself as plural people. Because I'm freakin' insane, deal with it!!!!!

Anyways, back to New Years, I headed down to San Antonio to go see the Kellys as well as some others who live there that I know, including the Sanders and even the Thompsons (Lajes flashback). I flew down there on Friday afternoon, and that evening we drove up with Robbie to Austin (where I hadn't been in a LONG time) to go see a Scabs concert at Antone's. The Scabs are definitely a party band, but they have a whole brass section, hilariously dirty lyrics, and a great upbeat fun song sound. If that means what I hope it does, then cool. They definitely put on a great concert, but since it started at 12 midnight, we didn't leave the venue until 2:15 am or so, and then the hour and change drive back meant we didn't get back to Byron's house until nearly 3:30-4. So didn't get much sleep that night. Did sleep in a little bit that next day, and then we visited Best Buy for me so I could buy them some DDR dance pads (must continue spreading the love of DDR around the country) and so we could play the games I had brought with me. Incidentally, the Kellys have a HUGE TV (62"), so it's kinda nice to play DDR on. But my 57" aren't no slouch, beyotches. Anyways, the New Years party began around 7:30pm, and from that point on, I 'sampled' all the wine and liquor I could, meaning I was pretty buzzing by New Years. Yay for me. Everybody who was drinking was feeling pretty good too, because there were some good German Rieslings to drink and lots of good food. Including some Maryland crab cakes that were awesome. I don't know if I've had crabcakes before, but dayum, these were good. I think I'll have some more crabcakes in the future. At New Years (after watching the Dick Clark special, I think I'll stop watching - it was just too sad listening and watching Dick Clark try to talk over his stroke - I admire that he did it, but I am fairly certain that this was his last Rockin' Eve), we went outside to watch the quaint San Antonio street erupt into 'artillery' and gunfire as fireworks were launched from everywhere. Byron said even Iraq didn't sound this loud. For a state and city that is horrendously in a drought, and in a severe burn risk, it was a little scary, but still awesome to watch. I guess everybody assumed that nothing would burn. Tell that to those people in Oklahoma and north Texas who lived in towns that have been literally wiped off the map due to fires. Anyways.... We then went back inside and played poker for a few hours, which was fun. I ended up with the money I started with. Can't complain there.

Finally, the next day we went and visited the Thompsons from Lajes times who live in San Antonio too. Stayed there a few hours catching up and eating a free dinner (score!). After that, Robbie Byron and I went to what is possibly the coolest movie experience you could have - I'm not even talking about the movie itself either. It was a theater that belonged to the Alamo Drafthouse series of theaters, and basically you can drink and have food while watching the movie. Waiters come to your seat, which has a table in front of it, and bring you drinks. It fucking rocks. We saw King Kong, which was cool, but I was just stoked to watch a movie and drink a few beers while I was at it. Sweet. Yeah, you can do that at home too, but theaters are realizing you don't need to come to their facilities anymore for a great movie-watching experience. Places like the Alamo Drafthouse are trying to entice you back by offering something more, which is cool. They also do lots of movie anthologies, retrospectives, Rocky Horror... you name the genre, they'll probably have a movie night for it. I'm jealous that this place exists now after I no longer live there. Guess I'll have to see if Colorado Springs has the same sorta thing.

Another late night, another sleep in. The last day, Monday, I pretty much just hung out at the house, as I hadn't slept all that good (I think allergies to SA air were affecting me), and I just felt blech. It was nice though just chilling, and that afternoon, I went to the airport to go home. Unfortunately, American Airlines delayed all their flights due to Chicago's crappy weather or something, and I didn't end up getting home until 12 midnight. And I worked today. So needless to say, it was a long day.

So that pretty much catches you up. I've put some pictures of my dining room now that it is pretty much painted and there's a bit more furniture in the house (after spending a GRIP on a bar table, bar stools, a coffee table/ottoman (you have to see it), a couch table, hutch, bench, and end table). So, with not much further ado, me and my dining room. Next room to be attacked? I think it'll be the living room area. I'm saving the kitchen and dinette/bar area for when my Mom and aunt Helen come up. They said they'd want to paint, so I shall give them their wish!

My Dining room - Jan 3, 2006

Me in my almost done dining room

Looking to the front window

The front door

Closet and front door

Back wall of dining room

Reference view of how it used to look

Got rid of that gross wallpaper

A little bit more colorful now.


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