Story Archive - December 2006

Goodbye 2006 (12/31/2006)

But, in retrospect, it always seems to work out that you can look back on something that was a disaster and find some gems in there. - Jim Carrey

January: I threw a fantastic new years party. I was still settling into the new apartment and took my first terrifying trip to Ikea. I did my first of many vacations with Gumdrop; this time around we went to my first of many vacations to Disneyland.

February: After destroying my glasses during break, I got the first new pair I have had in a long time. They are by Nike and the super-bendable kind with transitions. They are small, oval, and emo girls think they are cute.

March: The dentist told me I had amazing improvement. Now instead of three cavities a year, I only have around two. That makes me much happier.

April: It was the one year anniversary with Gumdrop. She planned a half spontaneous trip to Carmel. We had a good day, but without reservations every hotel there was booked solid.

May: I planned a slightly less spontaneous anniversary trip to Santa Cruz (site of our first official date) and had a wonderful time at the Boardwalk, Shadowbrooks, the Mission and Natural Bridges.

June: Wicket, the abandon kitten, shows up by surprise at my apartment a week after telling the roommate who brought it home he shouldn't. She is, of course, adorable. The big reason we were against it, is that he lives too busy a life to take care of a cat/kitten, and we figured the responsibility would mostly fall on the roommates. That owner is now in Arizona around 95% of the time working on a startup while the cat is at home, just another remind that I am prescient.

July: Another drunk tank at work followed by AX2006 (my second trip to Disneyland this year). I went to one wedding, two funerals and the annual Clearlake vacation. It was our last year in the same cabin we've been in a for a long time, due to a new rule that doesn't allow pets. Next years trip will be interesting.

August: I sent my last Windows machine into retirement, making me a pure Mac user at home. Gumdrop was in Japan and I was working a lot.

September: I took a vacation to Hawaii with Gumdrop as a joint celebration of our twenty-ninth birthday. Wow, I'm old. It is the first big boy vacation I feel like I have ever done, and it was fantastic. I think I finally get while people like vacations.

October: Two weddings and a birthday. I took a good trip to San Diego for a wedding on a harbor. My birthday was relatively simple, but I loved every minute of it.

November: Another trip to Disneyland? Yes! I should have gotten a season pass, if only I had known at the beginning. I destroyed my feet during this trip, mostly caused by too much Heely use in the weeks leading up to it. I made candied yams for the office . Of course there was another wedding! The second of my cousins to get married. She is the oldest of the group, and therefore, the right one in the queue.

December: Work. My company had three major launches this month, and I didn't sleep. It was the first time I consistently pulled such long and hard hours in a very long time. For the last week, I had to take vacation. To quote my mother, "always reach for the vacation paperwork before the resignation paperwork." I'm feeling much better now.

Crazy Homeless People (12/26/2006)

I'm crazy, and I don't pretend to be anything else. - Calvin Klein

Merry Christmas to all. Last night, after the family festivities I went wandering around the streets of downtown Sacramento with a friend talking about life and such. I've done a large amount of nighttime wandering in my life, but generally it's been in distant quiet suburbs, not the downtown of a city filled with crazy homeless. Crazy homeless scare me more than they should. The crazy guy yelling, "I got drunk twice tonight!" only inspired my friend to yell back, "We'll try that later! Merry Christmas."

My fear of crazy homeless people is similar to the fear we attempt to instill in our children of strangers. The vast vast majority of strangers that our children will meet throughout their childhood are very nice people who would love to play and talk with them and enrich their life. Instead, we worry about the tiny tiny percentage of people who might be harmful. I know in the reason part of my brain that the vast majority of crazy homeless people are quite harmless. I'm still afraid.

Spinning the Rubber Chicken (12/19/2006)

I'm tired of hearing about money, money, money, money, money. I just want to play the game. - Shaquille O'Neal

Spinning the Rubber Chicken

It's so much easier to give advice than to follow your own. I often hear people complaining about something they are doing followed up by "but as soon as the next thing finishes, it should get better." I was stuck in that rut for years with travel for work saying how much I hated travelling for work, but was sure as soon as the next trip finished I would be done. It doesn't work like that. I started getting sick about two and half weeks ago, at the final moments of a giant launch at work, and ended up just working myself sicker.

The big launch happened! Somewhere up the chain of command, a boss promised that he would buy me an iPhone when the launch went through, so I just need to wait for Apple to make them. I've got my MacWorld badge and I'll buy one the day it comes out. With the crazy work over, I was ready to settle back to smooth sailing for a little while. It never works out that way. In those final weeks or months when I was pushing everything else aside to hit that big target, well, everything else started piling up. I still have these towering piles of other items and pressure for more items to get added. So, I'm taking a week off on vacation for the holidays. I slept all weekend, and ended up taking today sick from work and just slept in bed for eight hours straight. I've got an optimistic opinion that it was tipping point and it will all be getting better from here. We'll see.

Getting Shaving Done (12/03/2006)

[I] have upgraded annually or so to whatever model my masters at Gillette have offered. - Merlin Mann

Through my entire high school and college career I shaved with electric razors. It wasn't until I was out of school and a big boy in the real world that I decided to make the switch to a real blade. The first time I tried blade-shaving was truly terrifying. The idea of scraping a razor-sharp blade (often referred to as a razor) across your face and neck exceptionally close to very important veins and arteries is not the most pleasant thought. Sussing out the process with no real direction from anyone else only added to the misery.

Since I've been shaving for around a decade and have more decades of shaving ahead of me, I went on a mission to see if I could make it more pleasant. I stumbled upon a cool post by Merlin sometime back talking about his experimentation with the process and followed along at home.

I got myself a nice little shaving brush, some honest shaving soap and some quality after-shave. After a few weeks of playing around with my system, only one thing actually made any real difference: more hot water. The shaving brush is cool. I don't use the real shaving soap any more because I couldn't get a strong lather out of it so I have moved back to the can of foamy stuff, but I still like to use the brush to apply it, mostly because I feel cooler. The brush applies the chemical craziness better when it's dry than when it's wet. Go figure. After that, hot water is my friend. I didn't realize how much this could make a difference. I used to rinse the blade, shake it dry, and do two or three full five-inch scrapes before rinsing it again. Now I've got the sink pouring out hot water and I scrape about and an inch before I rinse and take the still dripping-wet razor for its next go. This makes a fantastical difference.

I'm not sure if the after-shave actually does anything other than make my face smell nice. If you're like me and dating a young lady with a keen olfactory, that's more than enough good reason to keep using it.

2006 in Slideshow (12/01/2006)