Summer Playlist

After a few hints from the family, I have concluded that is time to end my blues exploration – at least for the time being. I had a revelation while eating dinner with the family the other night: The Summer Playlist. I’ll describe it in detail below but first a little context about the music listening situation in our house.

iTunes MBPDuring the work day I spend most of my time in my office, the kitchen or the bathroom (in that order). On the left side of my desk my MacBook Pro (MBP) runs iTunes all the time. The MBP is connected to my awesome PMIX-100 personal audio mixer (seen on the right of the photo). The mixer is connected to my Cambridge Soundworks desktop speakers which are located 18 inches in front of my head in the classic stereo position. This is where I do almost all of my listening these days.
Continue reading “Summer Playlist”

All I Got For Christmas

All I Got For Christmas
Originally uploaded by rynosoft
  • Rock Band 2
  • Home-made tree ornament
  • Airport Extreme wireless base station
  • Craig Ferguson’s book (fiction)
  • Dead Space for XBox 360
  • Dry rub
  • Christmas Around the World (CD)
  • Cash (an old favorite)

In three words – best toys and gifts for boys!

Click the photo to see the notes.

Update 12/30/08: Today I received Richard Thompson’s Across A Crowded Room and a cool Woot t-shirt. Also, I forgot to mention two pairs of loose-cuff sweatpants I got on Christmas.

Every time you go away you take a piece of me with you

Phrases heard when giving goodbye hugs (as compiled in the Minneapolis airport with Graham, Thomas and Tina):

  • “Bye.”
  • “Bye guys.”
  • “See ya.”
  • “See you later.”
  • “I hope to see you next year.”
  • “Come back and stay longer next time.”
  • “Scarecrow, I’m gonna miss you the most.”
  • “Thanks for coming/having us.”
  • “Travel/drive safely.”
  • “I’m so glad you/we came.”
  • “It was great seeing you again.”

Vital Statistics

Hours of sleep last night: 8
Hours billed last week: 0
Cobs of corn eaten: 12 (approximate)
Aches & pains: none
Current reading:: Metal Cowboy by Joe Kurmaskie
Recent weather: hot, cold, wet, dry (no lightning or thunder)
Recently accomplished: picked and shucked corn, skeet shooting, swimming at Lake Hendricks, water park supervision, visited with various relatives, camping, shopping at Cabella’s
Upcoming To Do: return rental car, shopping at Mall of America, airplane to Portland, drive home from Seattle

Everybody’s goin’ off the deep end

A blow-by-blow account of my weekend:

  • Friday morning: arrive at work, unload bike bags, drop off bike at Bike Gallery for repairs next week
  • Friday: work, trip planning & preparation, Max ride to Gateway Transit Center (no bike)
  • Friday evening: Tina and boys pick me up at Gateway TC, dinner at El Sombrero, shopping at Costco, strained right calf walking to checkout line
  • Friday night: organized trip items at home, haircut, Tivo watching
  • Saturday morning: woke up early to finish organizing trip items, discovered that I didn’t have my travel papers, emailed office admin and a co-worker to help retrieve it
  • Saturday morning (continued): packing for camping (Tina had pre-organized) using our new roof rack, meet up with scouts for 9:30 am departure to Beacon Rock
  • Saturday morning (later): Arrive at Beacon Rock @ one hour later, setup camp as rain begins, twisted right ankle stepping in mole hole, helped John setup portable canopy near our tent
  • Saturday: huddled under canopy and cooked occasionally, skipped 1.5 mile hike up Beacon Rock because of rain, calf and ankle – Graham disappointed
  • Saturday evening: enjoyed Boy Scout Campfire including two flag retirements
  • Saturday night: retired early and muddily to bed, slept well despite the loud nearby campsites, awoke twice to urinate, wiped my muddy feet on my pants before getting back in bed
  • Sunday morning: awoke @ 7:00 am, struck camp and packed for home
  • Sunday morning (continued): Breakfast at Charbroil’s in Cascade Locks, drove home
  • Sunday morning (continued): Arrived home, checked email and received missing travel info, showered (while Tina unpacked the car), packed my bags (using this list), cleaned cat box, put out recycling, drove to airport
  • Sunday afternoon: waited at airport and started writing this

WWDC, Day 5

The Beer Bash and visit to the Mothership in Cupertino went pretty well Thursday night. I purchased a few knickknacks for the kids and Tina at the company store, and bought myself an Airport Express which was discounted 25%. It was my first time at the original Apple Store, so it was pretty exciting. While I was there, my friend, Rob Marquardt, showed up. He wasn’t too interested in trying to sneak into the Beer Bash without a badge, so we settled for dinner at the Outback across the street. It was highly enjoyable as we commiserated about our experiences with the South Beach diet which we are both currently on. Rob is one of my oldest friends and it’s always great to see him.

On Friday, the conference ended at noon, so there were only three sessions an hour long each. That kind of sucked since we had scheduled our flight home for 8:00 that night specifically so we could go to the afternoon sessions. Oh well. We skipped most of the last session anyway and I spread my Zuma addiction to my colleagues as we sat around waiting for them to kick us out of Moscone.

When the last session ended, we all retreated back to the hotel to check our laptops with the bellhop. Most of us had agreed that dim sum would be the ideal final meal in San Francisco before we headed to the airport to endure the presumably long security experience. We wandered for several blocks before zooming in on the precise location of the restaurant we desired. It was OK, though, because it was an absolutely fabulous day in San Francisco. After trying to work my way around the dim sum carbs, we meandered back to the hotel to hang out in the lounge until it was time to leave for the airport. Again, the laptops came out and everybody worked their way up the levels of Zuma for a couple of hours.

When we got to the airport, the lines weren’t nearly as bad as we had imagined. Unfortunately, after waiting in line to check my baggage and then proceeding to the security checkpoint, the officer in charge of matching tickets with picture IDs refused to believe that “Mick” was the same as “Mitchell.” I was instructed to return to the ticket counter, where I would be issued a new ticket. Fifteen minutes later, I received my new ticket which did not have my name changed but instead has “SSSSSSS” displayed prominently in the middle of the ticket. When I showed this at the security checkpoint, I was ushered into the “special” security line. That line evidently features heightened security and a molasses pace. Eventually, they ran my sandals and carry-on items through the x-ray and directed me to the debriefing zone. There, I was frisked and they hand searched my bags very thoroughly.

Altogether, the whole process probably took an extra 45 minutes. But we had allowed over three hours, so we had time to spare. We settled into an empty gate and everybody plugged in and played Zuma until we were hungry. I got a burger and threw away the bun. We finished just in time to board. We were instructed not to bring any water bottles on board, even if they had been purchased within the security zone.

The flight home went smoothly. Dom and I sat in the same group of seats and were fortunate enough to have no one occupying the middle seat. So we stretched our shoulders, pulled out the laptops and played some more Zuma. One stewardess observed that there seemed to be many people on the plane playing that game. We told her we all worked together and she laughed. Soon she returned from the front and asked which level we were on because the gentleman in the front had attained Level 7. We were all shocked and jealous because nobody had even achieved Level 6 yet. The same stewardess continued to drop by and observe our levels and repeating the Level 7 achievement of Ladd, our coworker in the front of the plane.

The first thing I asked Ladd after we deplaned was, “Did you really get to Level 7?” Of course, he hadn’t. When I relayed this story to Thomas and Graham on the way home, we coined a new phrase for our household: “He pulled a Ladd” or “He’s Ladding you.” Very funny.

Vital Statistics

I’m waiting in the airport now for my flight to board for SFO. I had a middle seat but I bought a $24 upgrade for “Economy Plus” that gets me a window seat on the exit row. It’s a scam, but still worth it.

Yesterday Thomas and I went on the annual bike ride for his Cub Scout pack. This year I chose the route and it was quite enjoyable. There’s a length of bike path on Marine Drive along the Columbia that is about 4 miles long. When we got to the end, we pushed our bikes down to the beach and the boys played in the sand for over an hour. It was hot by the time we headed back and I was sucking wind by the end. Thomas really enjoyed it, though, and wants to go on more bike rides. I need to make time for that!

Bike odometer: n/a
Current reading: The Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson, The Prince by Machiavelli, I Love Being The Enemy by Reggie Miller and Gene Wojciechowski
Recent listening: Last Week’s Album Chart
Recent viewing: Dead Zone, Countdown, Sportscenter, Pee Wee’s Playhouse
Recent playing: Snood, Halo
Recently accomplished: Packed for trip, Cub scout bike ride, Costco shopping, filled up propane tank, paid bills, cleared Tivo bandwidth, laundry
Imperative To Do: Fly to San Francisco, check in to Marriott, pack money clip
Cool link: Flying man (or is that “falling with style”?)