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20 June 2006     Cause we are living in a material world, and I am a material...

And I think you know the rest! I freakin' love that song (Material Girl, just in case you were wondering) and it's blasting on my stereo right now. I just finished watching the Madonna concert DVD called "I'm Going to Tell You a Secret" which documented her 2004 Re-Invention Tour (which I missed - I could have gotten tickets in Vegas but that same weekend was Memorial Day weekend when all my friends came out and we saw Prince instead...a good concert, yes, but I could have finally seen Madonna!!!!! And apparently she sang Material Girl during the concert, which would have been freakin' incredible) - so anyways, to watch the DVD was pretty cool, although it omits that song from the DVD except for a brief snippet of song. So I had to break out my 'Like a Virgin' CD and listen to it. It's funny - I think that was my first cassette tape I ever got.

So anyways, what's been going on with me, you ask? Well, glad you did. Not a whole helluva lot. When I talked to my Dad this weekend, he asked the same thing, and all I wanted to say was that I'm dreading Monday because Monday was going to be a completely shitty day - which proved to be true. Ah well. There was a meeting that everyone involved knew would be a showdown between me and another flight commander, and it just wasn't fun. I can't stand that kind of confrontation shit - don't get me wrong, I'm not afraid of a confrontation, but do I actually like them? Not at all. And the stressing out before hand just sucked. Even the squadron commander, who had to act as referee, strongly exhaled at the end of the relatively-still successful meeting. So Monday was crap. But when that workday was over, my stress immediately lowered, and the rest of this week, while still perhaps not too fun, definitely is doable.

Speaking of my Dad, he and Pat are no longer residents of the Caribbean. Yep, they pulled up digs and after 15 or so years of tropical bliss, they've come back to the states. When I talked to him on Sunday, they were somewhere in Tennessee, heading from Connecticut (where Pat was visiting family) and going towards San Antonio, Texas. I'm not sure if it's my recommendations, or the combination of lots of people's testimonials about the city, but that looks like where they'll be settling down eventually. How weird is that???? My dad actually lives somewhere near approachable to me once again. The last time that happened, I was in elementary school. I haven't asked them why they moved - I guess I feel that if it was my business, they would have told me. But I have to admit I'm curious - isn't it the Caribbean you go to to 'spend the rest of your days'? I'm not saying they're on their last breath, by any means, but there had to be some reason. But whatever, I hope that they will be heading my way sometime this summer or fall so they can see Colorado and my house and work.

Other than that, this weekend has the potential to be some fun. Jeff's folks are in from the east coast for his Master's Degree graduation. Susan, KD and I are all going to that on Friday evening, and then on Saturday, we're going to join him and his folks up in Denver at this allegedly-cool steakhouse. Afterwards, we all come back to my place, where we will be having a table-game casino 'training session'. We'll show all the newbies (a lot of these guys haven't even BEEN to Vegas - wtf?) the basics of Blackjack, and for craps, well, let's say I'm trying to go a little overboard. I'm planning on renting an 8' craps table for the day. I've done the research, and it's not really that expensive to rent one! So I'm hoping that pans out. But it should promise to be a fun time with grilling, drinking, and fake-gambling and game-playing. Sweet! This is all in preparation for the NEXT weekend - when it's time to go back to VEGAS!!!!!!! Yeehaw! But more on that later, I'm sure.

Till then, party people, it's time for me to jam to some old-school Madonna and play some computer game gambling. Me likey this Tuesday night.

And to Byron, somewhere in Australia right now, you gotta tell me if the Outback restaurants in Australia are any better than the ones here in the states! (Also, I really like your Alaska drawing on your website - something like that with the colors I mentioned would be PERFECT for an early birthday gift!!!)


14 June 2006     I love when my site is used

Every now and then I google the term 'hobiebarnes' because doing that allows me to see, for the most part, when any of my website has been used elsewhere. So I'm killing time waiting for the manual sprinkler to finish up before going to sleep and I do this because I know it'll always be entertaining. The last time I did it, I found out that I was the face of Hooters (although I'm sure most didn't notice I was in the picture, to be honest).
Here's the link for that one: http://www.flyaway-weblog.com/50226711/hooters_casino_hotel.php

I was really hoping to find some new ones, and I certainly did. These had me cracking up, because honestly, I have no idea how they found these pictures - it must have been some determined googling through hundreds of images until they found that perfect image, which hobiebarnes.com has plenty of!

So, to start with, someone found my X-Files Unruhe homage picture when we went to Madrid. HOW? Who knows? But someone used it in a myspace comment, and they found it hilarious, just like we did! You definitely have to have been an X-Files fan to understand how pretty damn close my picture is to what is in the X-Files. Here's the myspace profile, and you have to scroll down to the comments section, sometime in March 2006. I am truly taking over the world with this website!
Here's the myspace link (try to ignore the annoying song playing): http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=2746523

Then, based on the title of the picture, Michancy's laughing picture when we were at Hooter's SOOOOO long ago when I departed San Antonio is under a search for 'hilarious pictures'. I'm sure Michancy will be thrilled. :-)
Hilarious pictures, indeed: Google Cache (it wouldn't show up under the normal link)

Of course, I'm honored to be part of the listing of sites that begin with 'ho'. Whew, I'm glad they didn't miss me.

I was also used in a debate over Naomi Watts performance in Mulholland Drive compared to Kate Winslet's in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I frankly can't choose between these two, because both are movies that I absolutely love and both are performances that are outstanding. But my picture from Mulholland Drive was used as a reason why Naomi Watts sucks on the OscarWatch.com forum. I'm glad I could help, guys.
The OscarWatch.com forum cache: Google Cache
Also, the offending picture of Naomi Watts. Sorry, Ms. Watts. - The Pic

But seriously, this last may be my favorite of the recent discoveries. A glamorous shot of me and Soft Batch Cookies made it on the Realest Niggas Forum. I mean, if that doesn't make me an honorary person of color, what the hell would? So, I ask you, first, how do you find my picture of me and Soft Batch cookies, taken while on my trip to Alaska, when looking for pics of Soft Batch cookies? THAT's determination, my friends. But when I saw the website name, I nearly fell off my chair. I truly transcend race and any divisional lines we create for ourselves. That is the beauty of this website. <sniff, sniff>
The Realest Niggas forum: http://www.realestniggas.com/board/archive/index.php/t-264381.html
The Soft Batch picture which is being referenced: Soft Batch Nikkas

Sometimes, it's just funny being me.

In non-website related news, we (the squadron/flight leadership) drove around town this evening to give people the word that they made Tech or Master Sergeant. That's pretty cool. I'm bummed for the people who didn't make it, but for those who did, you could tell they were very happy. The last house we were at the wife completely freaked out, and if you think those people you see on Publisher's Clearing House are hamming it up for the camera, well, I can tell you that they're not from first-hand experience. This woman was so happy, it was awesome. And awesome is my business.

That is all.


13 June 2006     Changed it up on you again

I was Picasa'ing through my photos and discovered a mostly-finished collage I had been working on for this site. I think I stopped working on it because I didn't know what to do with it at that point and how I was going to use it on my website. I thought it might be good for my 'Hobie' page, which I have yet to bring into line with the rest of my site, much like many of my pages still. But then I still had doubts, and this was all before I did the grand redesign you see before you. But as I saw it again, I knew it was time for the collage to be finished, and then to be incorporated into my fantabulous new index page. And hence, the manicness that is my new welcome image. It's awesome. I love when I do awesome stuff. Being awesome is hard work, but it's awesome, so it's all good. In fact, it's awesome.

Anyways, I think I'll tell the really crappy story now. About three weeks ago, one of my troops had his sister come out to visit him. She had just graduated nursing school. I met her one day while walking around the building (aimlessly, I'm sure - hey, wait a second, I'm not supposed to knock on myself here!) and she was really nice. I meet lots of people though in this job, so yadda yadda yadda. The next week, I get word from this guy that his sister lapsed into a coma. For no apparent reason. I had to flash back in my head - was this the girl I had met just a week ago? Indeed, it was. The young 22-year-old who didn't appear to be sick at all. Which is exactly what my troop was saying - no one knew WTF was going on. When I talked to him, she was still in a coma. But over the next few days, her condition turned for the worst. Her heart stopped once, and the doctors managed to get it started again through the use of chemicals - but it had been stopped too long and her brain suffered damage. At this point, the doctors realized that even if she were to regain consciousness now, she'd more than likely be incapacitated. She didn't respond to any physical tests and all attempts to diagnose what the hell happened revealed nothing. The family finally decided to take her off life support, and predictably, she died. Mind you, this span of events occurred within a week. She was healthy out here in Colorado, started feeling a bit ill before she went home to California, and lapsed into a coma there and died a few days later. The scary part - the doctors still aren't positive what the heck did this to her. The latest hypothesis is that she may have been suffering from mono, and then was bitten by something that had a catastrophic response to her system. That's the best that they have because they did find bites on her ankles, and she had gone hiking with her brother out here. But still, no indicators she had West Nile, Bird flu, Lyme Disease, anything. It's just so unbelieveable. I haven't seen him yet as he did come back to work this week. I had taken Monday off and today was a mess trying to get caught up after ONE FREAKING DAY.

I hope that didn't kill the mood. But it's mind-blowing to realize I met someone who about a week later would be dead. <shudder> This is one of those instances where life just proves that it is truly fucked up. We've had some discussions about it at work, and the sentiment is the same throughout: Death is obviously an unfortunate part of life - but what you hope and expect is that you get a fair shake and adequate time to enjoy life before you have to die. When you get older, it's more expected, which sucks, but that is the case. But when you just graduate college and you're 22 and you have a whole presumably successful career in nursing ahead of you, death SHOULD be the farthest concern you have. Plus the fact that this was something really not her fault or responsibility to avoid. Like I said earlier, life can certainly show a very fucked-up side when it wants to.

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO......... there's your bummer rant for the week/month/year. No more of that depressing stuff until I turn 30. And then I'll just drink those blues away, I tell you! So I got into a 'heated exchange' with someone at work today, it was fun. We were having a meeting about changing our wireless policy and this douchebag tells me that the commander (doesn't say which commander) is directing us to do this. Well, if he's talking about OUR squadron commander, I just talked with them and wanted to get to the bottom of this before the meeting. It seems that's not the case, AT ALL. So I inform him of that, but then he tries to trump me with a letter signed by a General allowing certain things at CMAFS. He then starts repeatedly saying to me, "So, you want to disrespect a General? You want to say the General's wrong? You want to disobey a General's order? You HATE the General!!!!!!!!!!!" Okay, that last exclamation was made-up, but you get my drift. He lost his damn mind accusing me of wanting to totally take over the world and disrespect the Generals everywhere. I 'politely' informed him that indeed I did think the General was wrong, because he was advised with information that has been proven to be INCORRECT. His advisors have given him frankly inaccurate and potentially troublesome information that he based a policy letter on. Finally, my Deputy came in and played 'good cop', but after that, the douchebag didn't say another word and sulked in the corner. The rest of us had a productive meeting! I hate when people try to use others' ranks and authority to get their way. I vomit in their general direction. :-)

So that's that. I had thought I might finish the kitchen project tonight, but after running about 4.5 miles after work, I was a bit tired and decided to do nothing. And that's what happened. Well, I did this, and I read EW's latest issue talking about the 25 MOST CONTROVERSIAL MOVIES OF ALL TIME!!!!!!! They didn't seem all that controversial, and what's an all-time list if it doesn't have Salo on it? I've never seen it but I've heard it's extraordinarily depraved and for some reason is one of the most sought-after DVDs. Blech.

Here's hoping Byron can get through another trip to Australia. He's such a trooper. :-)


12 June 2006     I love the color Red

Red has become my new favorite color. Having used it to paint a significant portion of the interior of my house, I've come to appreciate what an awesome color it is. I was thinking that it is actually fun to paint things red. You can't help but smile when you are painting something red, because you know that it is about to suddenly come alive. Wow. I just went off on the color red. I wonder if it's not the best thing when you just take a swig out of the Jack Daniel's bottle and then start writing your journal update. Not to worry, it was a very small swig. But I just decided I needed a drink before going to sleep, and dammit, I was sitting at my bar, and lo and behold, there was the Jack! I know that somewhere, Jenny is proud. :-) Speaking of which, you need to check out her work bathroom story. Her comment at the very end of it is priceless. I can actually see her saying that.

So I've gotten real self-involved lately. I am working out and dieting again so I can look better - plus, I've started going to a tanning salon. Las Vegas won't know what hit it during the July 4th weekend. Seriously. ;-) So I may be exaggerating that last part, but I am definitely feeling good about myself lately.

Work has been not too shabby lately. I got moved out of my sweet-view office two weeks ago. The Ace Lts also had to move with me, because of ... you know, I don't even feel like explaining it. It's boring, and annoying. Long story short, we had to move - so we did. I ended up getting a much nicer office out of the deal, and now I'm on the same floor as my flight, so that's even better. I just don't have as sweet a view as before. But the office is huge!!!! DAMMIT - I was about to type a damn story about work that was somewhat interesting - I think I was even going to rant.... and dammit, I can't remember what the story was. I went to grab some pretzels and BAM! the story is gone. I'll have to try to remember it later.

OH YEAH - now I remember. Not too much of a rant than me complaining. So feel free to skip to the next paragraph. On Friday, there was a promotion party for Jeff, who just made 1st Lt. Well, amongst the invitees to the party happened to be the former flight commander of my flight. The beloved, isn't-he-wonderful, walks-on-water flight commander who was my predecessor. I exaggerate, but not too much. All I heard, upon getting here and for the first 4 months or so, was how wonderful this guy was. So, that's freakin' great, but he's gone (PCS'd), I'm here, deal with it. And I think I've been doing a fairly decent job at it. But then the rumors begin to fly - he has decided to retire because he hated the job he went to in Alabama. And he's coming back to Colorado Springs. And he's going to get a civilian job back in the squadron - potentially even become a contractor with the comm contractor that does the Mountain comm. And believe you me, that last one would be most awkward. First, because the Comm Sq and the contractor are definitely not as nice to each other as they were when he was here. Plus, after meeting him and seeing him in action at the party, you get the sense he's one of those 'wonderful' types that everyone falls all over themselves for. And my friends, I can't fucking stand that shit. I don't need to have it thrown in my face that I may not be the same as that guy. And if he starts to use his former position in a way that undermines me, so help me, the war will be on. I'm such a bitch. At least Susan said that I'm better looking than him, so I win THAT war. Ha!!!!! (Again, heavy ego-inflating going on, so back off if you think I'm getting all conceited.... I'm just being honest! - that's from my myspace page)

I don't have any new pics yet. I'm still in the midst of getting my kitchen finished. Today, I took leave from work and finally got back to work on the painting. I had put some paint up a week or so ago and discovered that I didn't like what I did. First I tried painting patterns on the wall, but with the wall texture I have, it ended up looking horrible. So I painted over the patterns and then ended up with a two-color wall, with red on the bottom 2/3s and orange on the top third. But after putting it up on one wall, again, I didn't like it. But I paused and decided to figure out a way to make it likeable. And a week or so later, I came up with the idea that I hoped would make me like my kitchen again. And after testing it on the wall, I am happy to say that indeed, I do like my kitchen again. Here's a concept sketch of what my kitchen will look like when finished. Unfortunately, the colors on the sketch don't quite match up to reality, and there's a lot of crooked lines and absence of cabinetry and appliances. But you'll see once the pictures are up. Oh yes, you'll see.

And that is the update for today. I should probably get my lunch made (I'm making my lunches again!!!! It's so much cheaper and I don't get all fat and stuff - sweet!!!!) for tomorrow, then read a bit of Stephen King's Wizard and Glass (Dark Tower 4), as I've committed to re-reading the Gunslinger series in one swift motion. Swift may have been a tad overconfident, but determined and consistently may more accurately describe my efforts. I HAD to read DaVinci Code before seeing the movie (maybe I shouldn't have considering I hated the movie) and then I read Dean Koontz's latest paperback called Velocity, which was a freakin' T-R-I-P. I recommend it if you are in the mood for fast-paced, nerve-wracking suspense. Basically, the plot of that one is that this regular guy gets a paper on his windshield that forces him to make a choice - show the note to the cops, a senior citizen active in volunteering gets killed. Don't show the note, and a young female teacher is killed. Yeah, these choices are not what you call a good time. And it escalates from there.

So that's that! Have a good evening, and I hope you all are doing well. My next entry, I may talk about the very fucked up thing that happened to one of my enlisted troops. Un-freakin-believable, and unbelievably tragic. But I don't want to end on a down note right now.