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BY Nomad

07/01 Direct Link
In Phoenix visiting a friend for the weekend. It's a short trip but I needed to get out of Hawaii. That place is starting to get to me. It should be fun catching up with T and just being somewhere different for a while. I just hope we can get along for three days. It seems we argue a lot in Hawaii, but maybe things will be different in a change of venue. At any rate, it's only three days, so good, bad or indifferent it will be over soon. I do feel a little bit guilty not visiting family.  
07/02 Direct Link
I can't believe how hot it is here in the daytime. The temperature reached 118 degrees and the low is higher than the high back home. I don't know how people can stand this. Yesterday I had to be on a conference call for about an hour at noon and then we stayed in bed for a while. So far things have gone all right and it doesn't hurt that I can get caught up on Dexter while I'm here. We'll go out tonight and tomorrow night and then I'm back home. Kind of an expensive three day trip, really.
07/03 Direct Link
Last night we ate dinner at a Mi Comida Restaurante Latino. This was the first time I have had empanadas since returning from South America a few years ago, I think. I might have had them a few months ago in Denver. It seems bad that I can't remember that. Oh well, the food was pretty good. Empanads, yucas fritas and tamales. It tasted authentic. The guy running the place was from Ecuador and the prices would not have seemed out of place there either. So that was nice. I would have liked to tried more on the menu, though.
07/04 Direct Link
Flew home early today and was supposed to go to Kailua for a Fourth of July beach party, but wasn't feeling so great and have driver's Ed Class tomorrow. So I'm just chilling at home. It will be nice to finish the classes and have all of this crap behind me. Then I can get my license back and return to a normal life. I'm thinking of hiring someone to come clean the apartment and then buying some new furniture. I need to find something that will allow me to not feel down all the time. Too much to ask?
07/05 Direct Link
Went to the alcohol class today and it was unbearable. The people teaching the class are borderline idiots and 85% of the people taking the class are losers. It was the longest four hours I've had in a long time. There are a couple of really hot chicks in the class, though. One of them is missing a hand and I want to ask her if she lost it in a drunk driving accident, if it has anything to do with why she is in the class. I'm sure I probably won't even talk to here or anyone else, though.
07/06 Direct Link
Second day of class was worse than the first. We should have been out of there in half the time. If the point of the class is to punish us, then it serves its purpose well. If the point of the class is to educate and help people not be alcoholics or drink and drive, then it is a miserable failure. I'm two thirds of the way through it and have learned nothing. After tomorrow I will be done with all of my obligations and then just need my license back to put this all behind me. I can't wait.
07/07 Direct Link
Finished the classes today and today was the only worthwhile class of them all. It mainly involved hearing real people tell their stories of how alcohol or drugs affected their lives or others'. Glad this is done with and I can put this chapter behind me.

Even on this last day when everyone knew we would be leaving as soon as we were done there were jackasses wasting time and acting out in class like a bunch of middle school kids. Being treated as an equal among these losers is enough to make you want to change your ways. 
07/08 Direct Link
Killed the biggest cockroach I've seen in a long time today in my apartment. It's unsettling to see a vile animal of this size in your home. It seemed sick though, as it didn't really try to escape. The last couple I had to get rid of were flying, so I guess this was a good sign. I hope it just wandered in underneath the front door and didn't come from a nest somewhere in the apartment. At least it died when I smacked it with my flip flop. I've seen them survive more violent attacks, like from phone books.
07/09 Direct Link
I'm definitely getting the itch to travel again. It has been consuming a lot of my thought lately and I'm thinking about seriously getting SuperTrippin' back in form and trying to make it a legit website. I need to come up with something to offer more than just my occasional blogging and photo posting. I also need to come up with some new material, (I need to go somewhere). Brazil is still seven months away and it's also not a new country. Australia was split over last year and this one, so technically I need somewhere new this year. 
07/10 Direct Link
I'm hoping work will send me to the Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum in Barbados in October, but I don't think I'm senior enough to be sent there. We'll see. There is also an educational conference on multibeam bathymetry surveys in Spain I'd like to attend, but we're going to have to get some money coming in before I can get sent to something like that. It would actually be very beneficial to me and the company I think. Plus I would get to spend some about a week in Spain with only two days of working. Can't argue with that.
07/11 Direct Link
I will be playing softball tonight for the first time in close to a decade. It's just a very laid back pick up game. Sometimes there aren't even enough people to field to whole teams. There will probably even be people there that have never played or have only started playing the game recently. The fact that there will be one ex professional baseball player and a handful of friends that would ridicule me mercilessly if I screw up too bad, really makes me not want to strikeout. That would be extremely embarrassing to say the least. It won't happen.
07/12 Direct Link
Softball was even less organized than I thought it would be. It was fun, I suppose, but I have a hard time playing a sport when no one seems to give a shit what the outcome is. Eventually, you learn to compete just among those who feel the same and let the others just dick around. It made it fun for everyone, I guess. It was fun for me until I pulled my hamstring. I moved to pitcher after that thinking I wouldn't have to move much. The first three batters hit the ball back towards me. Just amazing luck.
07/13 Direct Link
The hammy is killing me. It doesn't hurt all the time, but it definitely has me limited in mobility. Oh well, I guess I'll live, but I doubt I'll be playing softball next week. Maybe not the week after either.

Work is slow right now and that makes my craving for travel almost unbearable. It's so hard to sit there reading news from around the world and think about the clock ticking, waiting for us to sign a contract so I can begin the two to three year countdown until I can travel permanently. I need to occupy my mind.
07/14 Direct Link
With work being slow right now, I wonder if I should take off for some other country for a week or so after San Francisco. One thousand dollars will get me somewhere. Fiji, Finland, Cambodia, China... somewhere. I honestly don't know if I can make it until February. I guess I'll be in the Bahamas soon enough. Then maybe I can take off for a short trip to some Caribbean Island I haven't been to before. There will hopefully be an IPO in February or March. Hopefully a successful one. Hopefully it won't be long after that before I leave.
07/15 Direct Link
There has been more rain here than I can recall in any previous year I have been here. There has been more lightning in the past year than the previous eight combined. The past few years have brought one natural disaster after another from tsunamis to earthquakes to floods to fires to hurricanes to giant sinkholes swallowing cars, buildings and huge lakes. Is this life imitating art? Has Hollywood cursed us by making all of these disaster movies to give Mother Nature bad ideas? Or has Hollywood just been more observant of the past and quick to movie-ize recent events?
07/16 Direct Link
Somehow it seems we have gotten off track at work. We were clearly focused on commercializing this technology that would change the world for the better and make us all quite wealthy in the process. Our first commercial project hit some snags from outside sources and in trying to adjust to those snags, it seems we have been knocked off course. This is not only my opinion, but that of those around me. I find it very hard to understand how the CEO can give so much leeway to this distraction. I think he will surely see more clearly soon.
07/17 Direct Link
I got a new futon today and in the process of placing it in the living room I discovered a book I thought I had lost several months ago. The book was almost one thousand pages long and I had read almost eight hundred. I thought I had left it on an airplane and was kind of pissed that I had put so much time into reading it and wouldn't get to the ending. Turns out it had just fallen behind some old stuff that should have been thrown out a long time ago, but didn't get moved until today.
07/18 Direct Link
I have three or four books that I've started and haven't finished sitting around my apartment. They are good books I suppose, but I just cant get into them. I think I will eventually read the tipping point, but I doubt I will ever finish Gravity's Rainbow or Why Things Fail. I've liked the parts of the tipping point I've read. I have just been in the mood for fiction lately, I guess. That is what has taken me so long to get back into reading. Though I've know for a while that I am quite streaky in that regard.
07/19 Direct Link
Professor Darby arrived at the remote village after three days of traveling via dugout canoe and hiking deep into the jungle. He had brought his world class linguistic skills to the little known Ngoktu tribe in hopes of deciphering their language. He would be the first to do so amongst the few experts that had attempted and failed since the discovery of the tribe by modern man only five years ago. The series of clicks and snaps were incomprehensible to all who had visited before him. It would be an especially sweet accomplishment for Professor Darby late in his life.
07/20 Direct Link
The last expert to attempt to decode the Ngoktu’s language was Darby’s father and his doctorate professor at Georgetown University. Darby hadn’t spoken to his father since his graduation day. The last message his father imparted to him was that his dissertation was not fit for a high school thesis paper and that the only reason he was graduating was because his father was sick of having to explain to his colleagues why his son was still at the university if he was not a professor. Professor Darby simply turned around and walked away at that point. He never returned.
07/21 Direct Link
A decade later the young Professor Darby was regarded as the top linguistics professor in the nation as well as the top linguistics expert in the United States government, although no one outside the CIA knew the latter. If the CIA could crack this code, they would be making leaps and bounds in the espionage game. They would be able to send top secret messages with little or no fear of the consequences that would ensue if the message was intercepted. Although he wouldn’t be able to tell anyone if successful, the pride of besting his father would be immeasurable. 
07/22 Direct Link

Every time Darby spoke, he was met with blank stares. What seemed to be the most basic greeting was impossible for professor Darby to mimic. It sounded perfectly correct to him. No one in the tribe could comprehend, though. Body language was the only way they could communicate with one another. As the day drew to an end, Darby left the village center to retire to his bed. He’d just have to try again the next day. The tribal elders looked at one another. “How long do you think before he realizes we speak English and the rest is gibberish?”
07/23 Direct Link
I was going to meet B out for drinks last night. He's moving back to California next week. Decided to have a couple of drinks before I left and wound up not making it out of the apartment. I felt bad for a lot of reasons. Oh well. I will make the Tuesday night send off.

Hopefully I don't waste the rest of the weekend like I did last night. On the other hand, I don't really feel like doing much. This might be a me time weekend. Catch up on reading with a side of beach in the afternoon. 
07/24 Direct Link
The story I wrote the other day about the professor of linguistics visiting the tribe with a language no one can decipher was just absolutely horrible. I knew it wouldn't be great, but it seemed like a reasonably funny scenario to think about. Maybe it is, but clearly the story as I had written it was anything but. Even through the first few days of the story I thought it had potential. When it came to the ending, though, I had nothing. I had in my mind a good ending when I started, but I lost it along the way.
07/25 Direct Link
There is one particular person at work who is frustrating as can be. He is derailing our whole system of progress. I think it will be soon that he is forced to change his ways or leave. We apparently hired him just to tout his previous "experience" in our field, but I have seen nothing but posturing from this person. I am starting to see what appear to be flat out lies about his previous accomplishments and he is definitely not a team player. It is possible he could cause problems for us, but not where we've set our sights.
07/26 Direct Link
One hundred words about one hundred push ups. Yesterday I started a program to be able to do one hundred push ups in a row at the end of four weeks. It is actually supposed to be a six week program, but I started at week three because I was already at that level. It is hard, maybe impossible for me to do it the way the schedule suggests. I need more time in between sets. I'll see how it goes and hopefully at the end I'll be in a little better shape and able to do 100 push ups.
07/27 Direct Link
I saw B last night at his going away party. I'm glad I got to say goodbye and I hope we will have the chance to hang out again. We might next week when I head to California. We will be in the same area, but I think it unlikely we will meet up. I will be working all day Thursday and maybe part of the day Friday. Hopefully catch the Giants game Friday night and hang out with some friends over the weekend. I would like to stay in the City over the weekend but it is too expensive.
07/28 Direct Link
I heard you could repel ants by use of cinnamon. Apparently they hate the smell of it. I wonder if some cinnamon scented candles would keep them away. I also wonder if cockroaches are attracted to the smell of cinnamon. I've been seeing more of them in the apartment lately. I might have an exterminator come and spray if I decide to stay in the apartment for another year. I can't believe I've been there two years already. Time is flying by and nothing seems to be happening at work. I keep thinking that will change soon. I hope so.
07/29 Direct Link
SuperTrippin' is still out of whack and in great need of updates. I think I have made some progress though in some small areas. I found a couple of new gadgets for the blog and got some advice on how to set up the rest of the website, or at least where to learn the code and which CMS to use. I checked the ads the other day and there is actually a lot more money in the account than I had thought. It still is less than I need to make a withdrawal, but at least it's a start.
07/30 Direct Link
I went to Borders on Friday and the place was almost completely cleaned out. They've been having their going out of business sale for only a week and the vultures have ransacked the place. The fucked up thing is that everything is only twenty percent off. They advertise up to forty percent off, but I did not see anything over twenty percent. Those deals aren't even as good as what you could previously get through Borders Rewards. They should have just announced going out of business sales every weekend. People would have flooded the stores and saved them from bankruptcy.
07/31 Direct Link
When I get back from San Francisco next week I am going to order the Brazilian version of Portuguese from Rosetta Stone. I know I haven't done very good at keeping pace with the Spanish or the French I ordered before, but maybe I can motivate myself this time. It will make my trip to Olinda so much better to be able to communicate even just a little in Portuguese. Plus I can return it before I leave. Then I think I will buy French or maybe some other language if I think of a different country to visit next.