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November 2004

Where in the world will I be in Jan 2005?

December 1, 2004: Yeah, so this is the November page still. I don't have that much time to work on the site, as I have a plane to catch that's bound for Puerto Rico! Yep, a vacation when I really really need one, especially after the news I got on Monday: I am getting deployed. These last few days I've been waiting to find out exactly where, and today the confusion was gone, although surprise was in its place: I'm going to Sarajevo in the Balkans. Crazy, huh? I was certain that it would be the Middle East, Iraq, that kind of thing. I even told people that I was going to the desert, as it only made sense. I don't know what I'll be doing, and I'm not really sure what all it is gonna be like. Some people have said it'll be a great place to be, as the real scary stuff has been over since 1996 and especially since Milosevic has been removed. Others think I'll be in a tent somewhere. Who knows? All I can say is that the details will be revealed as appropriate and allowed, and especially once I'm back. 4 months of fun, huh?

So I'll be definitely enjoying my little vacation starting tomorrow. Puerto Rico should be significantly warmer than Vegas is right now. Take care, peeps, and see you in a week!

Lots of Excitement

November 29, 2004: Yep, lots of excitement around here. Where do I begin? First, let's recap the 4-day weekend. I drove down on Thursday Thanksgiving morning to Los Angeles. I had decided not to go on Wednesday night to avoid traffic and to get some good video game time in with San Andreas, which I hadn't played for a while. The drive down was painless, which was nice. Anyways, got there, and had a bit of time to catch up with the folks before the crowds descended on Casa Barnes-Beaman. Not only was I there, but so were our good friends the Jensens, Stacie with Jessie and Trent, and Auntie Helen and Uncle Steve. The food was outstanding of course! And much appreciated. After that, a few games of Yahtzee and Rack-O were played, and the evening was just great. The pictures are below:

Driving to LA - approaching Jean

On the way to Stateline

Up the Stateline mtns

On the downslope to Baker


Clear view to Baker

Snowy mountains of Victorville


and again

Stister Stacie

Me and Harv at the Thanksgiving table

Steve and Helen there


Me and my stister

Stacie, Jessie and Harv

The lure of Yahtzee will wake anyone

The Joy of RackO

Still joyous

and joyous

Me Mom and Harv

Steve and Helen

That's my mountain on the way home




Anyways, the next day we said goodbye to Helen, Steve, and Jessie, and then I proceeded to get ready for that evening's festivities, which included my high school 10-year reunion. Can you believe that I am that old already? Mila, Sveta, Sarah and I decided to meet up for dinner beforehand so that we could get mentally prepared for the reunion and so we wouldn't show up all by ourselves. I know that before the reunion, I was pretty damn nervous. I don't know why, but I was definitely overcome by nerves, because you just never know what to expect with seeing people again you last saw over 10 years ago. Crazy. So we showed up right about on time when it started, and while the crowd was somewhat small at the beginning, by the time an hour or so had passed, the Brass Elephant/Aztec Hotel was pretty full of people doing the whole 'How are you? Married? Kids? What do you do?' conversation thing. Luckily, I discovered the way to handle conversations: get drunk. Or at least quite buzzed. After getting to that point, the reunion became a lot more fun. It turned out that while quite a few people DID show up, quite a bit more decided to pass on the occasion. I don't know, I just have been waiting to go to this event since I graduated high school. Sad, huh? Not really though. It was fun. I had some good talks with people, and I saw some that I was quite surprised to see, including some yearbook staff folks. All in all, a fantastic time, and one that I am extremely glad I partook in. Reunions are highly recommended! Here are the pics from that night:

Sveta, Sarah, me and Mila at Chilis before the reunion

Me and Gricelda

Jacen, Sveta and Me

Me, Sveta, Ben & Jacen

Rosario and Me

Vanessa, me

Me and Sveta - so sexy!

A Durose, Caroline, Brian and Me

Vanessa and Brian

Me and Susan

Me, Vanessa, and Susan

Me, Mr. Miller, and Gricelda

Monina, me, Mr. Miller, Gricelda

The 93-94 Annual staff reunited

Jenny, me, and Deidre

Me and Monina

Monina and Deidre

Drunk Caroline and Darlene

Me and Brian

Caroline and Erich sing


Brian, Caroline and Ben

Vanessa and Brian

Silvano (crazy eyes)

Get a room, Erich and Sveta

Mila and Sveta

Deana and Me

I'll leave this one alone



Then on Saturday, my friend Jason was having a birthday party at his new home. He has worked extremely hard on working on the inside of the house, and it shows. Their house looks fantastic, with various yellows, reds, and purples as the wall colors in the various rooms. It really looks spectacular, especially combined with the nice furniture, big open areas, and awesome TV. They still have work to do on the landscaping outside, but other than that, their house is definitely shaping up nicely. Anyways, the party was fun. I got to see some people I hadn't seen for quite awhile, namely Cindy Ledesma, one of my drinking buddies from my early college years. Now those were some good, drunk times. The trouble and drinking our group got caught up in then.....yowza!!!! Back to the present though, the party was fun, with drinking Blackjack and my newest and most favoritest addiction now: Dance Dance Revolution. OH MY GOD, this game is fun. And you get a workout. So what did I pick up at Best Buy when I first got back into town on Sunday? My own copy of DDR2 Max and a floor controller, so you can dance yo' ass off. It's one helluva workout, and during Jason's party, any buzzing or drunkenness I had was taken care of by a few hours of DDR. I highly recommend trying this game out. You just may find that you have some rhythm. Here are some pics below from that party:

Ilyne the shutterbug

Drinking Blackjack

More Blackjack pics

Jason hits his pinata

You'll never know what was in it

Me and Gendy (Rodent Lover)

That's all the picture stuff I have from this weekend. It was a fun weekend seeing family and friends again. On to present day crap. My credit/identity theft problem has come back from the alleged dead. Apparently I haven't cleaned up all the mess yet. This really is the gift that keeps on giving. Thank you, Mr. Sgt Fuckhead who did this to me 5 years ago in San Antonio. I do appreciate the thought.

I have another bit of news that has to wait to be shared just a little bit longer. Just a little bit. In the meantime though, wish me luck with this damned credit fight, and remember I'll soon be in Puerto Rico. Do I even go to work anymore? Let's not even talk about that right now. Please.

A way forward?

November 21, 2004: To what, you ask? Ah, nothing. I was just kidding. Or WAS I? Anyways, this past week at work has been stressful. Clearcube proved to be somewhat difficult to implement.....especially considering that the installation team (all one guy) didn't try putting it on to the network until Thursday afternoon, and he was leaving Friday morning. So needless to say, we stayed a little bit and finally reached some success in getting the equipment to work as expected. Friday morning the guy came back and we refined the installation method, and now we have some kind of procedures to finish the rest of the 97% of the install. I had told people that perhaps everything would be in place this upcoming week. I think I lied. Especially with it being only a 3-day week. Oh well.

This weekend I decompressed. So to do that, I went to Best Buy and bought a new A/V receiver, the Yamaha HTR-5790. It's so damn sweet. I wasn't holding out hope that it would sound noticeably different than my previous Yamaha receiver, as that one, the Yamaha RX-V800, is pretty damn fine too. But I was wrong. After running the auto-setup which automatically sets up your speakers for optimal listening, I listened to the new Destiny's Child CD and bam! The sound was unbelievable, even from my small speakers. I can only imagine what it will be like when I actually live in a home that doesn't have connected neighbors. I also spent some time running around doing errands, and I even went to Supercuts to fix my hair, as it has been pretty sad looking lately. I got impatient waiting for my turn, so I left. Today I finally went, and I'm somewhat pleased with the new results. It actually requires me to use hairspray, which I haven't used since high school, literally. And now after spending a rainy afternoon doing more errands, I am sitting here typing my journal entry.

I am ready for this upcoming Thanksgiving weekend. Looks like there will be lots of family over for the holiday. Also, the 10-year high school reunion is this weekend. I have no idea how that will turn out, but if I get the chance to just hang out and party with friends, that's good enough for me. Jason's birthday party is also this weekend, but I don't know if I'll be able to go to that....which sucks. And enough of that now. Time to go back to watching TV!
What's New? Got some new DVDs.

Amazing Race 6 has begun and I'm watching

November 16, 2004: These last two days of work have been LONG. I woke up somewhat early this morning so I could go to Chem Warfare training at 7:30 am. As I walk out to my car, I see what I had been dreading to see: a flat tire on my car. And why was I dreading this? Well, because I knew I didn't have all the pieces necessary to change the tire myself, as some key components, like the key for the lug nuts, had never been there apparently. So this was something that was going to require a tow. Hence, I missed Chem Warfare training this morning as Catherine was towed to Findlay VW, and I had to wait about an hour for help. Fun. I finally got my tire fixed though, and they even washed my car, which was MUCH needed. And I got the key for my tires, so perhaps I'll be able to change my own tire next time. Maybe.

So I forgot that Amazing Race 6 was starting tonight until I noticed my DVR turning on. It's on now, and hoo boy they do have some silly and stupid contestants this time. I think I know who's going first. The chumps who got suckered into driving AWAY from the waterfall. Stupid stupid stupid. LATER ON: These people are complete idiots. The wrestling team chick is a complete beyotch. That team with the girl who filled the clearly labelled DIESEL tank with regular gas. The unbelievably annoying Jonathan. This is going to be a great season to watch.

Clearcube is on its way to going in. Comm Sq seriously pissed me off this morning as they turned off the switches this morning that they had installed yesterday. Thank you so much. This morning gave me a headache. And it sucked. But tomorrow will hopefully be better. Here's hoping.
What's New? The Pic of the Day page of November is up, with some previews of some Berlin pictures included there. I WILL get my Berlin and SOS page up one day!

The Dawn of the Age of Clearcube

November 15, 2004: I've started a week at work that I've been waiting for for about 8 months now. The time that Clearcube FINALLY gets installed in my buildings. It's amazing it took this long. Absolutely amazing. And now that it's about to happen, I don't know, I'm just anti-climactic about it. All I can think is that it's just going to backfire and I"m going to hear now nothing but bitching. And frankly, these people who bitch at me are going to get an earful. My tolerance is at an all time low, methinks. I'm definitely hitting my biorhythm low and it's not on an upswing anytime soon. So forgive me if I am not exactly chirpy.

This weekend was entertaining though, which was nice. On Saturday evening, I went with Sgt Jenny and her boyfriend Jason to Boulder Station to see Paula Poundstone's show. She was hilarious, and even brought up stuff from her 'scandalous' past, which was both surprising and refreshing. She was completely candid about it all, which I respected. Plus, she's just freakin' hilarious. Afterwards I played some blackjack and lost all my money, down to the last money for a $15 bet, and proceeded to scratch and crawl my way back to my initial money. I only ended up losing $10 that night. And for me, well, a minimal loss is a win.

Other than that, I've been playing GTA a lot and basically staying away from people. It's just all that much easier that way!

Today was a FOD walk, and I took some pictures while out on the flightline. Actually, we got to walk all the way across the flight line, past the two runways, and pretty much almost all the way to the tower. It was kinda cool, except that we had to start this damn FOD walk at 7 this morning. We had to clean up after the annual Nellis Air Show, which I didn't work at this time. Sweet. Here are the pictures:

The happy Sgt Jenny and Linus

The first Nellis runway crossed

Another glorious picture of me. Someone shoot me.

Walking on the main runway

PIlots and Trash. Appropriate.

A quick Survivor thought

November 11, 2004: Okay, normally I do my Survivor web page and have my thoughts there. This season I didn't do that because of SOS and not having enough time to start one out at the beginning of the season. But I had to chime in about today's episode: WTF????? I can't believe the remaining guys just fell apart like they did. I'm dying to know why the hell Chris voted for Sarge?! I mean, it looks like Twila might have been a go, and possibly Eliza if they had voted for Scout. Sarge votes for Eliza....Chad votes for Julie.....I mean, what the hell?? Where's the strategy? Vote as a unified block at least. Or had they just given up and realized that Sarge was a goner? Bah!!!!! I am somewhat interested in this season now, just to see if a revolt occurs. Ah well.

Anyways, I had today off but I didn't get much done in terms of my website. I woke up around noon (it was fantastic to do that), spent some money at Best Buy, okay, a lot of money, and then played some Grand Theft Auto, got my website account access back, and am now watching CSI. I hope everybody had a great Veteran's Day.
What's New? Did you see the new Episode 3 trailer yet? Amazing!!!!

I'm Baaaack!

November 10, 2004: Yes, I'm back, and I'm actually very happy to be back. Berlin was a great time, but I've learned something about traveling now that I've tried it in three different styles. If you've heard me ramble about this a few times before, and let's face it, I ramble a lot, then skip ahead or go make dinner or pick your nose. I swear I won't tell.

My thoughts on traveling: You have three options - 1) Travel alone; 2) Travel with others; 3) Travel alone part of the time, travel with others the rest of the time. Option 2 I've done most of the time, including my 2-week European vacation, Rome, the Cruise, family vacations, etc. You have very little private time and if you don't like your traveling companions, you're kinda screwed. And not in a good way. But if you have good traveling companions that you get along with, then you're in store for a good time but you typically have a good time via consensus. Option 1 was my most recent trip to Berlin. I had the option to do whatever I wanted and didn't have to run it by anyone else for approval. A definite plus. But then again, when you're seeing all these great things, there's really no one to talk to about it, unless you're good at making friends with complete strangers. I am not one of those people. Especially people who speak fast German and are basically the equivalents of New Yorkers. I'll get into more thoughts on my trip later, but when you're on your own in a strange, foreign city, it's definitely a challenge. MILOPTY (militantly optimistic) can only go so far. Talking to yourself helps, but you earn lots of stares from passersby. Go figure. Option 3 has been my favorite option so far. The only time I've really put this in practice is my London trip. My friend Alan met up with me about 4 days into my London trip, which was a perfect amount of time for me to go and see all the tourist stuff that I wanted to see that he had either already seen or I figured he wouldn't want to see when he got there. And once I saw that stuff, I was then up for whatever the two of us wanted to do. That was a pretty perfect trip for me and is what I think the best type of trip is for me. Perhaps not for everyone, but I like having some time to see what I want and not give a shit about what others want. But I also want the ability to talk to others. So mixing it up, like Option 3 describes, is optimal.

So did you hear that the Star Wars: Episode 3 trailer is up? I have been hard-pressed to find it online, although I really haven't tried THAT hard. But my friend Alan's website had a link to a site that actually worked! I downloaded it and posted it here for your download, if you are so inclined. It's 10MB, so if you have dial-up, I would recommend you just go and see the Incredibles in the theatres, as it's playing before that movie. I will definitely see the Incredibles to see not only the movie but the trailer on a big screen, but in the meantime, good night(!) this trailer rocks. Better than Episode 1's teaser, especially with the fact you see and hear Darth Vader again. Freakin' incredible!!!!! And it looks so damn vicious and dark, it's just about what I think we've all been waiting for. It just took 3 movies for Anakin to go bad. But oh boy does he go bad. Click here to watch it from my site, or just right click on the link and do the 'Save Target As...' so you can download it to your computer for viewing goodness. I get tingles when that damn Imperial March starts playing.....

Auf Wiedersehen, mein Freunde!

November 2, 2004: It's election day and it looks like President Bush is on his way to getting reelected. Good for him. But I'm going to Germany tomorrow(my birthday), so I don't really care now. I'm nervous about all this flying, but whatever. Anyways, I'll be taking lots of pictures during the trip and I will put them all up when I get back. Take care, everyone, and thanks for the birthday wishes I've received. They're always appreciated. I can't think of anything else to say, so I'm out. Except pizza is good, and where the hell is my pizza????? I'm freakin' starving!

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