Thursday, April 30, 2009
For breakfast, we drove (thank you) to a restaurant in the University district. I had challah French toast that was incredibly good.
Then we drove downtown and parked at the Seattle Library. That is one amazing building. Dian got me good by making me go up several escalators to look out the top. She knows my fear of heights (note how I never said I went up in the Space Needle), but this wasn't too bad. I was able to distract myself with the architecture and the scenery. Then she made me ride the elevator back down.
Then we walked (much more slowly than Saturday and Sunday) to the Utilikilts store. We had to kill some time at another book store until Utilikilts opened, but when there I bought a heather gray Mocker. Just like the one in the picture. It's kind of like a dress slacks version of the utilikilt. I had wanted a denim one, but they've been discontinued.
But we did a little more walking and I can use this picture to prove I was really there.
And then it was time to go home, so I was driven to the airport, and Dian went on to a meeting and rehearsal for her next show. The flight back was a little rougher with a young boy behind me who kept kicking my seat. I would look back at his mother who would apologize and then reprimand him by holding him down or something. At that point he would begin screaming because he was (apparently) being stifled. I was glad to have my headphones on at that point.
Then I got home and Jennifer took me to La Piñata for a return margarita. And that night I related her my entire trip.
Sunday began with a walk uphill on Queen Anne to a cool breakfast place that was originally a house. I had a waffle this time, and while it wasn't very warm, it was good and came with some really good bacon.
Then we walked down Queen Anne, back to Seattle Center and went to the Science Fiction Museum. I made a long list of books that I want to read, and enjoyed lots of cool props from television and movies.
And so, we went back up hill.
We stopped for a snack at Chocolopolis. They had a wide selection of chocolate bars, and then some crafted pieces of chocolate. I got a bar of 94%, a dark chocolate truffle with nibs, and a butter chew with gold flakes.
And then down hill (a little) and across the Highway 99 bridge. Under the bridge we saw the Fremont Troll, and then we headed down hill to the Fremont Sunday Market. We walked through the market, and headed around to Theo Chocolate. That's Theo, short for Theobromine. And at Theo, they had borken up samples of every bar they sell, all for the tasting. If I had not jsut bought some 94%, I woudl have bought their Theo Venezuela Dark Chcolate 91% bar. But I had enough samples to carry me through. I did get Jennifer a Dark Chocolate With Orange bar, a bag of roasted nibs, and two peanut butter confections that turned out to be like butter fingers.
We walked back through the market, adn I found a Herkimer diamond with two little crystals growing on it's side. When i get a picture taken of ti, I'll be sure and post it. Dian immediately asked what I plan to do with it.
I said figure a way to display it with the other two that I ahve.
After the market we had lunch, and then walked to the Gasworks Park. At teh top of a hill there is a human sun dial where you stand at a specified location depending on the day of the year, and your become the gnomon for the sundial. It's very pretty with bronze inlaid in concrete in the form of signs of the zodiac.
From the gasworks we walked to the University, and hit several bookstores including two comic book shops.
And we then walked back to the apartment taking the lower Fremont Bridge back to Queen Anne.
Total round trip at least 12.5 miles.
Here and here you can see my blisters if you really want to. The one on my right foot had a little blood in it.
I put band-aids on them to protect them, and we went to see Monsters vs. Aliens. I enjoyed it, and now I have to take Jennifer to see it too.
Then we drover over to the theater, and stopped at a nearby place for dessert. I had an excellent chocolate cupcake that had that fancy hard and smooth icing on it with a soft icing flower on top. All in chocolate. And combined that with a nice lemonade. Dian had a German chocolate cupcake with tea.
And then I finally decided this event was worthy of taking pictures. Only two, but I did at least take some.
Then we moved on to the musical. "Gutenberg! The Musical!" is a very funny show. It mocks big musicals (smoke and fog, turntables, multiple musical styles), as well as the selling process of a new production. It's a two man show with a pianist present for the music. All characters are denoted by cheap baseball caps that have the character's name written on the front. Very smart and very entertaining.
After the show, we went back to Dian's apartment and crashed to be ready for Sunday's incredible amount of walking.
We took BART and walked from the Embarcadero station to AT&T Park, and then after the game back to the Powell Street station. That's about 2.5 miles round trip. Not the best thing for my blisters.
It was a fun time with good beer (Smithwick's and Guinness), good food (hot dog, ravioli, and soft pretzel), and a great crowd around us.
And watching a win is always an added bonus.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Dian picked me up and we went back to her place and set up my palatial air mattress. It was my choice to stay with her because it just seemed like it would be easier than doing the hotel shuffle and coordination. Then we just chatted about things until after 11:00.
The next morning we started the day with breakfast (egg and sausage quesadilla for me), and then the walking began.
We continued downhill to the Olympic Sculpture Park. Wake was the most impressive, and I probably should have taken pictures, but there just wasn't a good way to get the impression of them in a picture. Their scale is such that it wouldn't carry over.
Then we looped around and walked through the Seattle Center. I didn't take a lot of pictures over the trip just because I didn't want all the typical touristy pix. I saw the Space Needle (whee.), and the remnants of the 1962 World's Fair.
Then we went to the NFFTY animation show. It was pretty cool with a couple good entries including an hour long LEGO animation. Not really a short with that length, but still pretty impressive. It took the kid who did it three years to make (20 minutes each year).
Then we walked downtown.
We followed the monorail (with the Simpsons song in my head) until it ended, we passed by Pike Place Market (we'd come back to it), and went on to Pioneer Square, and past that to a big bookstore. The cafe below ground at the bookstore is the one that they used as a model for the TV show Frasier. And on the way we passed the Seattle Utilikilt store. We were kind of... moving with purpose, so I got a promise that we'd come back later in the weekend. We backtracked to Pike Place Market, and wandered through that seeing the original Starbuck's store.
Then time was pressing, and we walked back to Dian's apartment to get cleaned up for dinner and Gutenberg! The Musical!...
The walk turns out to be over 7 miles, and is probably closer to 8. With lots of hills. And that was just a warm up for Sunday.
No luck there, but there was a Chili's Too (like an express, I guess), so I went into the bar and ordered a margarita. The bartender looked at me and asked me for my ID.
I'll be 40 in July.
I shrugged, and showed my license, and enjoyed my margarita.
When I asked for the check, the bartender apologized for carding me.
I really didn't have a problem with it. It's kind of a lift to be taken for someone that age.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Of course this was not immediately apparent to me, and I called AT&T angry as usual with them, and got someone who sounded like they were from India. No service people could come out until Monday, but they said they would try to escalate.
Friday morning I got a computer call saying that the escalation had been denied. I called AT&T again and got suggestions from a hick sounding redneck from St. Louis. The primary suggestion was that the modem could have been fried by the power surge, and to try Best Buy for a new modem. Eventually, I rolled out and checked Best Buy. As it turned out, Best Buy as sold out of DSL modems. Apparently the old modems have been dropping like flies, and even their warehouse was empty of back stock.
The part I like was when I left and he called after me, "They are available online at BestBuy.com." I was halfway to my car when it hit me how absolutely stupid this final advice was.
I got home, and called AT&T again this time getting a much nicer (and better spoken) man in St. Louis, told him about Best Buy being sold out and he asked if I had tried an AT&T store. I admitted I had not thinking them only for cell phones, but he pointed me to the one in Concord, on Monument, and I ran to get a modem. Jennifer is at this time coming back from working, and I was racing to get the system back up and running for the weekend before I left.
Finally, I got it all hooked up, with user name and password inserted, and low and behold there was the internet...
Thirty minutes before I needed to be on the road for the airport. I was wiped even before I started traveling.
Monday, April 27, 2009
The walking just about did me in on Sunday. I have big blisters (one on each heel), but Dian popped and drained them this morning before we did our final traveling, and Jennifer has done the same again before we go to bed.
I'll get a play-by-play of the weekend out tomorrow.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
I'll probably be better just in time to go out in the field the first full week of May.
I'll be sure to do a full rundown of the weekend once I get home.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
With regards to miniature painting, I have discovered a new "tool". I am painting a centaur for Holly in my beginning GURPS group, and I wanted to make sure I had the right colors for her character. So I printed up full page pictures (pixelly, granted, but I'm not publishing these), and had her tell me, in general, what colors to put where. Then I took the sheet home this weekend and filled them in with colored pencils. The rough painting went amazingly fast. I tried taking pictures to share with her, but the figure is too small for easy focusing. I'm going to have to work on it. Anyway, I'm about half done with the centaur, and very happy with the results so far.
Moving next to the high level fantasy campaign, I'm still on a cliffhanger ending. My character, an Elf, was up against a dark knight, and I attempted to remove him by casting Entombment, a spell that send the subject ten feet underground in a state of suspended animation. He reflected the spell back on me, and I failed the resistance. So I sent myself ten feet underground into a state of suspended animation. On top of this I have a spell regularly cast that makes it difficult to find me using magical methods. I succeeded by a strong margin the last time I cast it and will be under the influence of that spell for 5 or 6 more hours.
And finally, there's the psionics campaign. Yes, we did dumb things, but my teleporter got away slightly panicking from the effects of claustrophobia. In an attempt to gather some more equipment, I got into a confrontation with some men with powerful guns. One managed to hit me with a shot, and though it didn't kill me, I had to immediately teleport to a hospital emergency room for care. And so that adventure ended with me in surgery.
I'm looking forward to the resolution of both of these dilemmas in the future.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
All right, I’m trying this again. After looking over the settings (and my drafts folder), it appears that I had set it up a little more securely so that things went to the Drafts Folder instead of posting.
That’s not going to work if I’m only doing this from e-mail anyway.
Of course I’m still going to have to go over this later to add keywords. Of course this is balanced by being able to use a smarter spellchecker.
I'll look up, and better read the directions for making posts via e-mail, and that way I'll hope to be able to do some posts from Seattle a little more easily.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Although I need to look and see if Eastwood had anything to do with Dead Man Walking... (Not according to IMDB)
Anyway, this one stumped me a bit until I remember the movie of some famous author hunting in Africa: White Hunter, Black Heart.
As for the book, it's been great over the arc of the books to see Rachel Morgan become (mostly) responsible. She actually thinks before she gets herself into trouble, and does her damnedest to get herself out what she ends up in instead of going "woe is me" through half of the book. Harrison also ties in two short stories she wrote in Dates from Hell, and Holidays are Hell. The first is about Rachel as an eighteen-year-old, and the second is essentially how Ivy get matched up with Rachel in Inderland Security.
It only took me a little over two days to read, but this book will hold me until the next one. However, I am definitely eager for more.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Yesterday, because of the new Kim Harrison book in my hand, i decided to read while working out and listen to my rock playlist. This instead of listening to the latest SModcast, as has been my recent want.
And it turned out that by subconsciously matching my rhythm to the music instead of two mellow guys talking, I worked harder. My pulse went from edging close to 120 to being over 130 for most of the time in the gym.
A good thing to know.
Then on top of this, I have a bit of personal joy to share. At the beginning of March I had a physical related for my 40-Hour HAZWOPER certification, and found out I was down to about 195 pounds from anywhere between 200 to 205 for the end of last year. Tuesday I decided to check on the balance at the gym, with a little fewer clothes and without shoes. It turns out I am down to 190 pounds.
That was a nice little pick me up.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
After spending minimal time inside, I went out, bought gas, and drove home. Then it really rained on me. it reminded me of films of desert storms with the way it would taper off and then downpour even thought I was traveling in relatively a straight line.
I got home, changed, and went to the gym.
The drive was lightly rained on, and stopped by the time I got to the gym. it dried off while I was inside, but then when I was about 10 minutes from being done, it opened up again. While I'm walking to nowhere on the elliptical, I'm watching the waves of rain travel across the parking lot.
But the best part was the people all concern about their hair and clothes as they went in and came out of the gym. Now these are people who are already sweaty or planning on getting sweaty, and yet they are covering their hair and clothes (workout only that I saw). I had to laugh.
Then when I walked out to my car, I got to enjoy some rain and soft hail.
Finally as I was on my approach to home, I got to see that it had snowed on Mt. Diablo and the neighboring beak. And from my perspective there was a rainbow across the main peak. I wish I'd had a better camera than the crappy one on my camera at the time.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Friday, although I was in the office, was a catch-up day getting things out by deadlines, and being ready for the coming Monday.
Saturday I ran part two of the beginner's GURPS game. They learned the importance of stealth (just because you succeed, does not mean you were undetected), and teamwork against a large force. No one died, but some were wounded, and they have some decisions to make by the next game.
Sunday, Jennifer and I tried to do some hiking, but the dogs off of leashes wrought some havoc with her. No bad incidents, just a strong fear based on bad experiences in the past. We left the Martinez/Lafayette hills, and went to the Martinez marshes. We saw a couple of new birds that we have yet to look up and identify. The nice part was the no dogs rule for most of the area since it's a bird preserve.
Then we went home, stopping for sushi on the way, and watched the last three episodes of this season's "Terminator - The Connor Chronicles", loving every minute, and then two episodes of "Reaper". This was interspersed with trips to the mall (all closed except for Sears) and Smart and Final for ice cream.
Yesterday was finally the last day of drilling in Santa Clara. For this project we broke ground on March 30, and with a few one day breaks, we finished two weeks later. Now I can relax in the office for a while before we return to Stockton for more wells. The weather yesterday was perfect for fieldwork: sunny, but diffuse with high clouds, and a slight breeze all day. Perfect short sleeve weather.
And then when I got home I found my package from Reaper Miniatures. Lots of lead figures, with a completion of wood elementals, and a centaur for Holly's beginner character and a new figure for Jennifer.
Now I'm just left with the little bits of work to finish my taxes.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
Thursday, April 09, 2009
And then the other cool thing is that Monday will be the last field day for a little bit.
I'll be back out again, but hopefully I'll get a little break.
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
It looks like Monday I'll have a friend from school (elementary, junior, and high) come out and visit the drill site down in Santa Clara. I haven't seen her since the reunion in 2007, and that'll be cool.
It's something to look forward to at least.
Not a lot else today, just catching up on office work.
And a little In 'n' Out for dinner.
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
It ended up that the heaviest rains hit while driving back to the office from Santa Clara. Gotta love the people who are afraid of the rain, but won't get out of the HOV lane because they are willing to go 2 miles per hour faster than the cats in the regular lanes.
Then when I got home it hailed a bit. So glad that didn't happen while we were working.
* * *
And now, after looking at the weather forecast, it appears that the rain is lingering...
So there's a good chance it will rain tomorrow and Thursday.
Monday, April 06, 2009
I'd just like to say that I'm tired of Lana Lang in Smallville.
First off, she's no longer cute; she's just become this scrawny looking thing when compared to Erica Durance. Maybe that's why they're no longer seem to be on the same episode anymore.
Second, she may be trying not to be whiny, but she's still annoying.
Third, I can't understand the drawing out of the Clark Lana romance, when it is inevitable, no matter how the show ends up being written, that Clark ends up with Lois.
So get rid of her already.
Ah, I feel better now.
They'll get the well box set tomorrow morning before we get on site, and then we'll get the second well installed. Barring any lightning. Should there be any, we'll have to shut down and pull double duty on Wednesday. I'm optimistic (yes, big surprise) that we'll get it down though, as the call for possible thunderstorms is for the afternoon.
Sunday, April 05, 2009
So we stayed home. I did laundry, and painted a little. Then tonight I watched the Australian production of "Oklahoma!" with Hugh Jackman as Curly.
I had seen Hugh Jackman on "Inside the Actor's Studio" and he spoke about doing the musical. He said they had to speak the songs during rehearsal. Immediately the audience groaned because the first two lines of the musical are 'There's a bright golden haze on the meadow." Twice. The director told him, "If you can't think of a reason to say it twice yo0u can't say it at all."
It was also supposed to be a production that puts most of those done by Americans to shame
It was pretty amazing, and is well worth a watch.
(And for an explanation of the post's title go here.)
Saturday, April 04, 2009
I got to pick up my comics on the way back from Santa Clara on Friday, and I've been kind of off an on reading them. As well as updating characters for the next Psionics game and the game I'm running on Saturday.
And then there's writing fun letters to people. That's turning out to be more fun than I ever could have expected.
Finally, I'd just like to say that I want a light saber. there are times that the Dark Forces/Jedi Knight series (which I can';t even link to over at LucasArts because they're so old) comes to mind, and I have this urge to drag a light saber across the walls at work. Then there's just the usefulness of a universal cutting tool.
I'm just saying.
Friday, April 03, 2009
And so I chose where we were going to drill, and they cut the asphalt and began vacuuming the soil to get it ready for drilling on Monday.
And true to my talents which any good and true geologist has, I placed the location directly on an unmarked utility.
Now, we cut a 2-foot square out of the asphalt in preparation for a well box. This line is running straight from one side to the other exactly bisecting our square.
We had already moved off of a marked gas line, and had chosen the direction we moved due to an overhead electrical line. And as it turned out, we were on the far edge of our USA marking.
So the upshot is that I had to re-mark for USA, schedule the geophysical utility locator, reschedule the vacuum clearance crew, and extend the driller's scheduled time with us.
It was a long day in the field with nothing to show for it except a nice 2-foot square of new black concrete.
Thursday, April 02, 2009
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
I gave up trying to read Deus Irae by Roger Zelazny and Philip K. Dick. Insanely too surreal for me. I remember slogging through it as a college student, but I don't feel the need to try so hard this time. So I'm on to Coils by Zelazny and Fred Saberhagen. It'll help keep me in the mood for our GURPS Psionics campaign.
It turns out I'm going to be traveling to Seattle at the end of April. I'm going to meet a friend and see a play she is directing. And sight see a bit.
And finally, I vow never to buy a Mazda unless they come up with cheap fusion cars. the people at the Mazda dealership in Santa Clara have been rude and unresponsive over some access issues. I hope to get it all worked out by the end of this week, but if not our schedule is going to be screwed.