Aches & pains: fingertips, sciatica
Current reading: Q&A by Vikas Swarup, Parenting with Love and Logic: Teaching Children Responsibility by Foster Cline & Jim Fay
Recent listening: Best of 2013, Arcade Fire, The Jethro Tull Christmas Album, Christmas from Mardy
Recent viewing: Once Upon a Time in Mexico, The American, Kevin Smith: Burn in Hell, The Peacemaker, Oblivion
Recent playing: Dropzap 2, Angry Birds Star Wars II
Recently accomplished: Updated allowances, Troop 820 accounting tutorial, new hardware for Tardis, Xmas shopping, DEQ/registration for van
Imperative To Do: Call IRS, clean office, put pedals on bike, call Dollar, doctor appointment
Aches & pains: sore left shoulder
Current reading: High Fidelity by Nick Hornsby
Recent listening: David Grisman’s Acoustic Christmas, Christmas Spirit by Los Lonely Boys, Everything You Want for Christmas by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Best of 2012
Recent viewing: QI, Dexter, Homeland, Sons of Anarchy, Burn Notice, The Walking Dead, Portlandia, American Harmony
Recent playing: Letterpress, Bloons
Recently accomplished: Purged old items from Toodledo, finished negotiating Thomas’ property damages claim, Repair Bucks (iPhone & Xbox), Christmas
Imperative To Do: Doctor appointments, Troop 820 accounting, tree recycling, can & bottle recycling
Bike odometer: 2523
Van odometer: 154292
Weight lost (in pounds): 0
Aches & pains: n/a
Current reading: My Name Is Red by Orhan Pamuk, Cross-platform GUI Programming with wxWidgets
Recent listening: Radiohead, Tom Waits, Beck, R.E.M., Willy & The Poor Boys by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Recent viewing: The Hoax, Heroes, Fringe, How I Met Your Mother, Colts at Browns
Recent playing: Chain Factor, Guitar Hero, Lego Star Wars, Galcon
Recently accomplished: Quicken Online migration, purchased Xbox 360, Christmas shopping, mouse cleanup & execution
Imperative To Do: Get rid of office junk, freecycle, activate new Tivo, clean garage, get rid of MacRenewal Macs, trim bushes, pull blackberries
Monday, December 24
Woke up to a beautiful Southern California morning and drove into an even more beautiful afternoon in Scottsdale, AZ. When we arrived at Tina’s sister, Michelle’s house, Grandpa Tom fell into the pool while playing ball with cousin Xander. We spent the next several days with Michelle, her husband Ric and their boys, Xander and Wil. Thomas and Graham loved the time with their cousins and it was good to see Michelle, Ric, Tom and Jan again. We had a wonderful Christmas together and our boys experienced their first-ever Christmas morning gift opening. I got my dad a saw for Christmas. And he loves it. Here are some sliding mitre saw reviews in case you want to buy your dad or yourself one.
Jan and Tom left after a couple of days so that we parents could have a wild night of wine, music and debauchery. We also reveled in the High Definition TV and Uncle Ric gave an impressive demonstration of their excellent home theater system.
Sunday, December 23
When I emerged from the bathroom after my shower wearing shorts, Tina asked why I was so under-dressed for the weather. I exclaimed, “I’m going to Southern California today!”.
After I navigated out of the East Bay to Interstate 5, Tina took over and drove most of the way through the California Central Valley. We had a late lunch at In-n-Out Burger, home to some of the finest fast food in the country. When I asked a young man who was waiting for a seat if he would like mine, he replied, “That would be bitchin’!”
A few hours later we arrived at my sister, Maridee’s house in Moreno Valley, CA. My mother had arrived a few days earlier and my brother-in-law, Steve had spent the afternoon deep frying a couple of turkeys for a pre-Christmas family feast. The boys opened more Christmas presents and then we retired to the Fox RV for a restful night’s sleep.
Saturday, December 22
Left Medford and drove to Aunt Carol and Uncle Ralph’s house in Lafayette, CA. Carol made delicious vegetarian chili and we were joined by Cousins David and Danielle. After dinner, we took the dogs for a walk on a local multi-use path and saw some cool Christmas lights. After talking books vacuum cleaner for pet reviews for a bit, I traded my copy of The Professor and the Madman for Ralph’s copy of My Name Is Red. Before bed we all exchanged gifts and Carol gave everyone a CD for the road.
We’re safe and sound in Scottsdale, AZ, after two and a half wonderful days of visiting family. We left Friday afternoon to get a jump on the trip and drove to Medford, OR, where we stayed at Motel 6 for the night. The next day we drove to Lafayette, CA, to visit Uncle Ralph, Aunt Carol and cousins Danielle and David. Yesterday we drove from the East Bay through the California Central Valley to my sister’s house in Moreno Valley, CA. After a very restful night in their RV, we had a shorter drive to Scottsdale where Tina’s sister and her family live. The smell of Mexican food is pervading the house and Thomas and Graham are excited to play with their cousins, Xander and Wil. We are glad to be at the end of the long drive but we really enjoyed seeing everyone along the way. Thanks to everyone for the wonderful food and company along the way. Feliz navidad!
Bike odometer: 2352
Weight lost (in pounds): 35
Hours of sleep last night: 7
Hours billed last week: 37
Aches & pains: sciatic (when I stand too long), right shoulder (when I extend my arm away from my body), left achilles tendon, joints in my right hand (likely RSI from Guitar Hero)
Current reading: The Book of Totally Useless Information by Don Voorhees, Space Cadet by Robert A. Heinlein
Recent listening: In Rainbows by Radiohead, The Shepherd’s Dog by Iron & Wine
Recent viewing: Countdown, The 300 Spartans, Rank, Numb3rs, Eagles vs. Cowboys
Recent playing: foosball, Guitar Hero III (Wii)
Recently accomplished: cleaned cat boxes, recycling, old email, Christmas shopping
Imperative To Do: Sift through inbox, post office (Sunleafs, Seagate, Kent, Sue), sunglasses, InstantCake, phone calls, vacation planning, packing list
As I mentioned earlier, we are going on a big road trip over Christmas break. Our main destination is Phoenix, Arizona, where Tina’s sister, Michelle, lives. We’ll be traveling through California to get there and come back, so we’re seeking advice on places to visit and sites to see along the way. We may not see all of them, but we’re compiling a long list so we have many choices. Please leave your suggestions in the comments.